Volunteer Auburn University students say they are helping those in need by giving back to the community that has given them so much.
Leave It To Us, a national, free, senior-shopping service mostly comprised of college students, arrived in Auburn on April 17 and allows student volunteers to go shopping for senior citizens in the area.
“I know a lot of people kind of have a lot of free time on their hands and are just looking to give back to the Auburn community because the Auburn community has given us so much,” said Madison Patrick, Auburn University student and coordinator of the Leave It To Us chapter in Auburn. “Anyway that we can kind of go out and pour into our community.”
Patrick started the Auburn chapter of Leave It To Us after learning about the organization a few weeks ago and thought it would a great way to help out those in her community since she couldn’t directly help her grandmother in Boston.
“I thought this was a great way kind of to give back where I can if I necessarily can’t go up and help my grandmother or my extended family directly,” she said.
Patrick wasn’t alone in Auburn; there were many college students just like her wanting to give back. Since the organization began in the area, the group has at least 60 student volunteers willing to shop for those considered at-risk.
“I was really happy that we actually got the 60 volunteers so quickly because it shows how much those kids care about the community,” Patrick said.
Student volunteer Faith Boyer was the first volunteer to deliver groceries to a senior in the community and said she enjoyed it.
“It was really a great experience,” she said. “I think it better showed then the need that’s here in the community.”
Boyer said, although keeping her interaction brief and at a distance, she could tell her customer appreciated her act.
“She said she’d been alone in her house for five weeks and then seeing another person I think was helpful,” Boyer said.
What it isLeave It To Us was started in Chicago by a University of Alabama junior, Michael Arundel, in March.
“He had gone home for spring break to Chicago and saw there was a need for people to kind of just limit their risk of exposure,” Patrick explained. “He started the first chapter up there and from there it’s grown.”
Volunteers will pick up grocery items, toiletries, prescriptions and more for those who can’t leave their homes during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The organization has grown to more than 20 chapters located throughout the country. Most of the group’s volunteer base is college students.
Leave It To Us has five Alabama chapters listed on its website: Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Prattville, Huntsville and Auburn.
How it worksThose interested in taking advantage of the Leave It To Us program can reach out to Patrick by calling her or emailing her the items needed and their address.
Patrick will then take the information and pass it along to a volunteer who will then go shopping for the items.
“All of our volunteers are required to wear latex gloves and we suggest that they wear masks,” Patrick said. “I know that it’s sometimes hard to get a hold of one right now so we highly suggest it but we don’t require the mask yet.”
The volunteer will get the items to the best of their ability and call the customer while checking out to verify the price and let them know they are on their way to deliver the items.
The customer can then pay for the items upon delivery with cash or check.
“The volunteer will put all the groceries right at their front door and pick up the check,” Patrick said.
For those interested in taking advantage of the Leave It To Us service, visit www.facebook.com/LeaveItToUsAuburn.
Customers can also call Patrick at 850-530-3666 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order.