Shopping Angels help those who can't shop for themselves - for free

CHICAGO (WLS) -- They are called Shopping Angels, and that's exactly what they are for people in need. Their mission is to help those who can't help themselves during these challenging times, and they actually pick up your items for you.

"I'm not young anymore. I'm in my late 70s," said Nina Helstein, a client of Shopping Angels. "I don't want to be in a situation that I can't be sure I will be safe."

Helstein is just the kind of person Shopping Angels was designed for. They pick up items for people who can't do it themselves because of the pandemic.

"I get a shopping list for someone who needs some extra help with grocery shopping who can't go out," said Ilana Hahnel, a Shopping Angel. "I put my mask and gloves on and I get the items and I drop it off at their houses."

The service was started by a student in Las Vegas and has spread all across the nation. There are more than 200 Shopping Angels in Illinois - and they all do it for free.

"We are here to help each other, not looking to make a profit or to make any money," said Patrick Boyer, a state coordinator for Shopping Angels. "This is coming from the bottom of our heart that we do that to help people."

"I'm a senior with sciatica and I can't drive at this time. I can't sit or bend. So I needed essential products from the store," said Kathy Scimeca. "Delivery was excellent, she stayed her distance and rang the doorbell and, interestingly, she would not accept a tip."

The volunteers come from all walks of life. David Hartley is a teacher with some extra time these days.

"It definitely lifts my spirits every time that I do it," Hartley said. "Just seeing how grateful they are when I drop these groceries off. I know that it's really needed a lot.

It really is a win-win situation.

"There is so much that we don't have control over," Hahnel said. "This is something we can control and it's so easy to do and it really does uplift you in a way that's unexpected."

To become a client, or a volunteer and learn more about Shopping Angels, visit shoppingangelsglobal.org.
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