As COVID-19 began to spread and schools frantically shut down, one Haverford alumnus decided to take action to help the most vulnerable group: the elderly.
Rob Esgro ’19, now a first year at Penn State University, founded Shop4Seniors at the end of March with some of his classmates.
“I founded Shop4Seniors as a direct response to the COVID-19 outbreak,” Esgro explained. “The pandemic has caused senior citizens [to] face a decision of life and death when they need to enter the public square to perform basic essential tasks like shop for groceries.”
In turn, Esgro and his more than one hundred volunteers shop for the elderly as well as for at-risk individuals that request aid.
“Our recipients have told us that the alternative, existing delivery services such as Instacart and Peapod were simply far too expensive for their budgets and only made deliveries on selected dates. This is the need we filled with Shop4Seniors,” Esgro said.
Since its founding in late March, Shop4Seniors has expanded its field of services to filling prescriptions, dry cleaning, and even making masks for seniors with a partner organization based in Ridley.
However, the service that Shop4Seniors provides does not completely eliminate the problem of exposing senior citizens to the virus. For this reason, Esgro explains that public safety is their highest priority. The Shop4Seniors website offers a comprehensive list of requirements for all participants referring to the CDC guidelines including use of a facemask, gloves, and social distancing, as well as more detailed precautions like cleaning shopping carts that are used to carry the groceries that will be delivered.
“[Haverford students] should check on [their] own grandparents and neighbors and see if they need assistance in getting their groceries.”Rob Esgro ’19
Esgro wants to ensure students’ priorities are set correctly: “[Haverford students] should check on [their] own grandparents and neighbors and see if they need assistance in getting their groceries.”
Esgro also seeks the help of the Haverford student body beyond their own families.
“We need all the help we can get! If a student at Haverford wanted to get involved, he should visit our website at www.shop4seniors.org, read about our organization, and sign up to volunteer based on the county in which he lives.”