Helping hands

In New York City, two college students are using their time off for good. Liam Elkind and Simone Policano are delivering groceries and medicine to the elderly, the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In New York City, two college students are using their time off for good. Liam Elkind and Simone Policano are delivering groceries and medicine to the elderly, the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More necessary than the deliveries themselves, however, is the human touch, even if it is maintained by a threshold’s distance. “People are scared, and people are lonely,” Elkind told AP News. “We’re all so separated, and one of the things we need is that social cohesiveness. This is one opportunity to get them that social connection they’re looking for.”

Elkind and Policano were able to gather 1,300 volunteers for their Invisible Hands initiative. Volunteers to shop for vegetables and pick up a quart of milk or lifesaving prescriptions. Volunteers to say hello and ask how a shut-in’s day has been.

Good deeds aren't a necessity in New York City alone, of course. And inspiration doesn't always come from the top down. During this time of chaos it's especially encouraging that it's not always the young looking to their elders for guidance. Sometimes, leadership is peer-driven. Kindness spreads and the hearts of good Samaritans everywhere – regardless of age – are picking up the cause.

Just like Trip Wright, a junior at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati. Inspired by the New Yorkers, Wright began his own effort to deliver food and necessities to those most in need, according to WCPO-9.

Every day, from 8-3, he tends to his online classes and after, instead of team sports or hanging out with friends, Wright said he is “able to go on my email, reach out to volunteers, check for delivery requests.”

With a team of volunteers, Wright started Zoom Food, built a website and started spreading the word that help – and kindness – is just a click away.

“We’re all in this together,” Zoom Food volunteer Heather Vecellio. “We all want to be a part and help, and this is one really simple way to just jump in your car and help your fellow community members.”

From New York to Cincinnati and beyond, young people are seeing a need and filling the gap to ensure everyone has a chance at survival and a little light in their days. 

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