Denver couple forms delivery network to shop for neighbors who can't leave home during pandemic

Volunteers fetch groceries, deliver to doorstep
Posted at 11:58 PM, Apr 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 11:50:07-04

DENVER -- When David Millis and Robbie Hobein saw the COVID-19 pandemic gaining a foothold in Colorado, they took action, coming up with a plan to help neighbors, before Denver's stay-at-home order went into effect.

The Five Points couple formed a nonprofit and started the Denver Delivery Network.

"The Denver Delivery Network was our idea to help get groceries and essential items into the hands of people who should not be leaving their homes because of the pandemic," said Millis. "That would be people who are sick, who have been exposed, or who are at high risk."

"I've always been a believer in helping people," said Nicole Stanek Scott, one of 50 volunteers who deliver to neighbors in Five Points, Curtis Park and now Park Hill.

Stanek Scott, 33, said she works full time at Habitat for Humanity, so she volunteers for the delivery network after work or on weekends.

She said volunteering gives her a purpose and helps her deal with monotony.

"The grind of just sitting at the computer all day had gotten tough," she said. "This felt like a way that I could contribute."

Hugh and Lynne Brown used the service to purchase some groceries Friday.

"This is just a great example of neighbors helping neighbors, especially those that can't get out," said Mr. Brown.

The Curtis Park couple is part of the high-risk group.

The Browns said they were in Seattle visiting their son when the pandemic began sweeping through Washington.

They cut their visit short and returned to Colorado.

"Our kids would die if we went to the grocery store," Lynne Brown said. "They really don't want us there."

When asked what she thought about the service, she replied, "it's absolutely wonderful."

Millis said volunteers wear face covers, use hand sanitizer, don't go into client's homes, have no contact with clients, and minimize their time in grocery stores.

"They deliver to the front step and leave," he said.

Millis added that clients could call Denver Delivery Network at 970-316-4036 and leave a list of essential items, or they can go to the website to place the order.

"The order is dispatched to a runner (volunteer).

The volunteer confirms the order with the client, purchases the items, and delivers them. They receive payment from the client directly via Venmo or Zelle, and they're done, Millis said.

Stanek Scott said it only takes 20 minutes, and it will "make somebody's day."