Mark Clippinger has all the volunteers he needs to operate his Shopping Angels grocery delivery service in Hamilton County during the COVID-19 crisis. What he doesn’t have enough of are senior citizens taking them up on their offer
“When my grandma called me and asked, 'Who’s 614? Is it a spam call?'” Clippinger said. “She hadn’t seen any of the posts made online or anything.”
The problem, Clippinger said, is that many of the people who need his service don’t have the internet, so they haven't heard about what he's doing.
So he said he’s shouting from the rooftops for people in need to call 614-664-9155.
Calling that number will put the caller in touch with Shopping Angels, a support network of volunteers in Hamilton County that deliver groceries to seniors and others at high risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Once the request for help is made, users can create a shopping list and set up a way to pay for the groceries.
“We'll coordinate with a local volunteer, pick up the groceries, deliver them, all social distancing, safe, everything like that,” Clippinger said.
The "shopping angels" network was started by a student at the University of Nevada, and now the program operates all across the country.
Dr. Stephen Blatt, a doctor for infectious diseases at Tri-Health, says the service is a great way for older people to avoid crowds.
“I think that’s a great suggestion if they have that opportunity available,” Blatt said.
Clippinger said he doesn’t mind putting himself out there if it saves someone higher at risk from going out.
“People at risk are safe, and maybe people who aren’t at as much risk can facilitate what is a necessary service to those in need,” Clippinger said.
Clippinger coordinates the program for Hamilton County, but there are additional local coordinators in nearby Butler, Warren and Clermont counties.