Jane Harvey has delivered food a few times to a woman in Roseburg who is at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19, but she hopes to start delivering to more people soon through PDX Concierge.
PDX Concierge is an Oregon initiative where teens will deliver groceries to elderly, disabled,immunocompromised people or first responders in the community without delivery fees.
“I hope to be able to help anybody who needs it and that nobody is embarrassed to ask for help,” Harvey said.
The initiative, as the name suggests, was started in Portland by Neel Jain, a teenager who started helping his grandmother with grocery deliveries and saw a need.
People who are interested in ordering groceries through PDX Concierge get sent a shopping list through the website at www.pdxdeliver.com. Once the teen is done shopping, they will send a message with the amount and what time they’ll deliver.
Reimbursement for the groceries can be made by cash, check or online payment. The groceries will be left on the doorstep.
“Running and growing this organization has been an amazing experience for me and I have definitely learned a lot,” Jain said. “I have learned how to interact with others, the aspects of entrepreneurship involving hard-work and determination, and many other skills. I am grateful to have had this experience and after all of the hard work, it is very satisfying to see it pay off and be able to help others in the community.”
PDX Concierge is available in Roseburg, Eugene, Salem and most of the Portland metro area and has more than 30 volunteers and 155 deliveries made.
“I hope to possibly start operations in other areas of Oregon like Medford, Corvallis, and more so we can help everyone in need,” Jain said. “We have some chapters in Vancouver, Washington, as well as Salem that are a bit smaller so I also hope to grow those.”
Harvey heard about PDX Concierge while visiting family.
“I was in Eugene visiting my grandparents and I read an article in their newspaper about the program and it said if any high school student is interested to contact and we’ll talk,” Harvey said. “I had been delivering for Meals on Wheels and I always look for ways to help, and then I saw this super cool article and before it even asked for volunteers I knew I wanted to do this.”
Harvey is one of three volunteers in Roseburg, but because it’s relatively new and unknown there haven’t been many deliveries yet.
Harvey said she’s willing to buy groceries for anybody who needs them during the pandemic.
The service is organized in a flexible way, and Harvey and Jain don’t think the start of the school year will impact their ability to deliver groceries to those in need.
“I think the start of school will force PDX Concierge to run mostly on the weekends and evenings of weekdays, but it shouldn’t be too great of an impact,” Jain said. “It is still fun to get out of the house and deliver to those in need even while we are busy with school.”
Harvey, who is a senior at Roseburg High School, said the service is flexible and gives volunteers about 48 hours to deliver the groceries on their own schedule, leaving her plenty of time for school and extra-curricular activities.
High school students who would like to get involved can also visit pdxdeliver.com to get more information.