The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone’s daily routines, including when people go to the grocery store. People are (or at least should be) staying home and practicing proper “social distancing.” They stock up on groceries and work with what they have at home.
However, the pandemic hasn’t been easy for senior citizens, who are advised to stay home as much as they can. Going out to shop for groceries is a threat to their health. That’s why Greg Dailey, a newspaper deliveryman for Newark, New Jersey’s Star-Ledger, decided to lend a helping hand with the elderly customers on his paper route. In March, he started bringing them groceries, reaffirming our faith in humanity during these troubling times.
Too Risky To Go Out
No matter how much you stock up on groceries, you’re bound to eventually run low on supplies. For John and Sandy Driska (both in their 70s), this quickly happened to them in March, but going grocery shopping was out of the question for the Cranbury, New Jersey couple. Sandy had bronchitis and John has Parkinson’s disease. It was too risky for the couple to go grocery shopping, so they were left to depend on others.
You can imagine how surprised the couple was to find a note attached to their morning newspaper from Newark’s Star-Ledger. The note read: “My name is Greg Dailey and I deliver your newspaper every morning. I understand during these trying times it is difficult for some to get out of their house to get everyday necessities. I would like to offer my services free of charge to anyone who needs groceries, household products, etc. I will be shopping at ShopRite and McCaffrey’s and can deliver the goods directly to your front door.”
The note included Dailey’s phone number. Sandy was skeptical about calling him, but she felt desperate. Luckily, Sandy had nothing to worry about because Dailey’s note was genuine. He delivered $302 of groceries to the front of the couple’s garage the next day.
Inspiration For The Kind Project
Dailey’s act of kindness was inspired after he noticed that an older customer of his didn’t want to walk down to the sidewalk to pick up her morning newspaper because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This made him think about all of the elderly customers who are too scared or sick to leave their homes for basic necessities. It doesn’t take him much effort to pick up a few extra supplies when he’s at the grocery store.
After helping his first customer, Dailey couldn’t stop there. He typed out an offer to shop for all 800 of his newspaper customers. While some grocery stores deliver, it can take a few days to get these supplies delivered. Dailey decided to perform this service—at no cost.
He enlisted the help of his wife, three children, and his mother-in-law to make the deliveries every morning. “During a crisis like this, it’s so important to step back and look at the bigger picture,” said his daughter, Erin Dailey. “The second my father looked beyond what’s in his mirror, we as a family knew [that we should] offer a helping hand to those in dire need.”
We need more inspiring stories like these—positive stories that remind us to have faith in humanity. Dailey’s act of kindness caught the attention of various media outlets, including CBS Evening News. The story reached 83,000 people on Twitter, with users impressed with Dailey’s generosity.
One user (@rmhy) commented, “THIS is what makes America incredible. Compassion. Kindness. Empathy. Taking care of each other. Thank you for highlighting people who are rising up.” Another user (@topcat0606) said, “This is the best story I have ever heard. Thank you and blessings to you. What a TRUE hero!”
Dailey is happy to make a difference. “This isn’t something that we’re just going to do for a few days—we’re in this for the duration,” he explained. “My daughter and I delivered to a home yesterday, and the woman told me, ‘You’re the closest thing to an angel I’ve ever seen.’ Do you know what that does to your heart? I just melted.”
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