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Non-profit matching people with high-risk to coronavirus with volunteers for errand runs

In the program from Global Shapers, Sacramento area volunteers can help people by picking up groceries or picking up medicine from a pharmacy.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento chapter of a international non-profit is trying to make the next errand run for people with a high risk to coronavirus a little easier.

The local chapter of Global Shapers is matching their volunteers with older adults or other people with underlying health issues.  The program, "Shaper Hands," lets healthy volunteers run errands for people who can’t leave their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Paul Endelman, curator for the Sacramento chapter of the Global Shapers, says volunteers can help others by picking up groceries or picking up medicine from a pharmacy.

 “The order is placed and, via the phone through the grocery store or online, the stuff [items] are picked up. And, they [the volunteer] can drop it off at the front door and they [the high-risk person] can go outside and grab it,” said Endelman.

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Calls for volunteers only started recently, and, so far, 20 people have signed up. 

Endelman says the volunteers have been vetted, but, in order to keep it simple, no cash gets exchanged. The grocery orders should be placed and paid for online or over the phone.

“We mitigate the risk of somebody trying to run away with your money by telling people to pre-order and have the stuff ready for them to pick up,” Endelman said.

He says it’s up to the volunteers and those requesting help if they want to keep working together. 

The volunteer matching program has already been rolled out in places like Los Angeles and Seattle. Now, they are taking applications for anyone who needs help in the Sacramento area. 

People should start getting their matches by the end of the week.

While there are currently volunteers in Sacramento, West Sacramento, Elk Grove, Folsom, and Roseville, Endelman says he hopes more people will sign up to volunteer in rural places.

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