KEY POINTS

  • Jayde Powell, a student from the University of Nevada, Reno, organized "Shopping Angels"
  • The group shops for elderly people who are at risk because of the coronavirus
  • This group aims to make it easy for these people to complete their groceries without risking exposure to the deadly disease

Amidst the desperate crowds searching for groceries and clearing supermarket shelves during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a few who are shopping with a different purpose: to help those who cannot shop for themselves anymore. These are people like Jayde Powell, a “shopping angel.”

According to CNN, the honor student from the University of Nevada, Reno got the idea from her mother. She said that her mother told her to check on their elderly neighbors to see if they needed anything. This gave her the idea to organize a volunteer organization, helping the elderly during the time of the pandemic. It also helped that she was a pre-med student.

Powell also said that she knew older people have underlying medical conditions that can grow even riskier when saddled with the virus. That’s why she started “Shopping Angels” by initially enlisting members from her Phi Delta Epsilon fraternity in medical school. The movement grew through word of mouth on social media, but she credited CNN’s affiliate for putting the word out about the group.

Other people have begun to notice the kindness Powell has been spreading around. According to Deseret, news about the “Shopping Angels” have begun to circulate on the Internet. Even if people are not interested in joining, the work the group had done so far made them realize their own selfishness.

The group works by asking their clients about what they wanted to shop for. A few clients have opted to buy their groceries online and a shopping angel will deliver the goods to their doorstep. The group also offered them the option of having a shopping list as well as money to cover the purchase.

Powell extended their help further by assuring potential clients that money is no object. She understood the fact that most of the elderly often lived in poverty, and assured them that they can still reach out, even if they cannot afford something as simple as toilet paper. The group made it clear that the elderly should still reach out regardless of budget concerns, especially during this time.

US retail sales fell across the board in February, but remained flat for food and beverage retailers as shoppers stocked up fearing the advancing coronavirus U.S. retail sales fell across the board in February, but remained flat for food and beverage retailers as shoppers stocked up fearing the advancing coronavirus. Photo: AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY