FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2020
NAPCA announces partnership with Lyft and Shaper Hands for free delivery service of essentials to at-risk individuals during the COVID-19 quarantine
Services will be available in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and Vietnamese
NAPCA also announces expanded resources through NAPCA’s national Helpline
Services are available as of April 15th, 2020.
Seattle, WA — The National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) announced a partnership with Lyft and volunteer organization, Shaper Hands, for a free volunteer delivery service to assist elderly and at-risk individuals most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. This partnership was created to help Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) and diverse older adults who are isolated, along with immunocompromised individuals, by addressing language and technological challenges through NAPCA’s multi-lingual Helplines. Anyone with access to the internet may directly utilize the Shaper Hands website to request orders. Older adults in need of assistance with orders may call NAPCA’s Helpline to receive support and NAPCA will identify these individuals and their needs to Shaper Hands. Lyft will provide free ride codes for Shaper Hands volunteers making the contactless deliveries of groceries and other essential items to those in need.
“This pandemic is teaching us the need to reinvent how we serve America’s older adults. Over three weeks ago we launched our eight in-language automated 1-800 Helplines and website to support older adults and caregivers with barriers in language and technology access. Today, we are announcing the expansion of our services to provide five (English, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese) in-language phone operators to support older adults in need of resources because of isolation and limited access to the internet. Our partnership with Lyft and Shaper Hands is multigenerational, multi-ethnic, and a cross-industry initiative we hope would be of value to the people we serve. Our partnership with Lyft and Shaper Hands will ensure reliable access to essentials for at-risk individuals,” Joon Bang, CEO of NAPCA said.
The NAPCA Helpline is currently available with live support in five different languages: English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and Vietnamese for residents of Los Angeles and Seattle. Individuals who are unable to leave their homes to access essentials can now call Monday through Friday, between 8:30 am and 1 pm, to request assistance on placing orders with Shaper Hands.
“Shaper Hands is a volunteer-driven service that provides safe, free deliveries for the elderly and immunocompromised in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Orange County, New York City, Portland, Seattle, Sacramento and San Francisco. We are available to support the constituents of NAPCA during this time and are excited to start with helping the Los Angeles and King County residents,” said Muhammed Fazeel, Shaper Hands volunteer and representative.
Shaper Hands is working with NAPCA and Lyft in Los Angeles and Seattle to mobilize a group of engaged volunteers to bring groceries and supplies to members of this particularly vulnerable AAPI and diverse older adult communities. While Shaper Hands focuses mostly on the elderly and immunocompromised, it is available to help anyone in need.
“This is an unprecedented time and we recognize that many lack access to transportation and to critical items like groceries,” said Lisa Boyd, Director of Social Impact at Lyft. “We are proud to work together with NAPCA and Shaper Hands to facilitate deliveries to those who need them, while providing additional earning opportunities for those who drive with Lyft.”
Lyft is donating ride credits for tens of thousands of rides to those with essential transportation needs during the COVID-19 pandemic – including families and children, low-income seniors, and caregivers.
To distribute these rides, Lyft is activating LyftUp, the company’s comprehensive effort to expand transportation access to those who need it most – and partnering with public health entities, local governments, nonprofits and community organizations who are on the frontlines of this crisis. Through working with NAPCA and Shaper Hands, Lyft is providing ride codes to Shaper Hands volunteers who lack access to their own transportation. Volunteers are able to take a Lyft ride to make these critical deliveries.
NAPCA also announced that their automated Helpline recently launched in eight different languages
(link to press release) to provide national in-language support for information on COVID-19 prevention, symptoms, and planning. The Helpline was also expanded to include recorded guided meditations to support individuals by providing exercises in grounding, relaxation, breathing, and gratitude.
In addition, the NAPCA Helpline will have an option for callers to leave a short message about their unique experiences, which will be presented to elected officials and government agencies.
“In addition to staffing live operators and working with Lyft and Shaper Hands to provide delivery service, our Helpline will provide two additional resources for any caller. The additional resources are: (1) a guided meditation experience to support people with anxiety and stress, and (2) a voicemail option for people who would like to share their stories during the pandemic. Government agencies and elected officials need to hear about the challenges and experiences our older adults and caregivers are going through and the voicemail option will allow us to take their stories and advocate on their behalf. Our staff has been hard at work supporting over 1,600 of our mature workforce program participants throughout the country and we are constantly working to develop new solutions to be of service. Our message as an organization to older adults across the country is: we are here with you and will take every intentional step forward to better serve you,” said Joon Bang, CEO of NAPCA.
The NAPCA Helpline is available 24/7.
Tiếng Việt/Vietnamese: 1-800-582-4336
National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA)
Founded in 1979, NAPCA is a national non-profit organization that preserves and promotes the dignity, well-being and quality of life of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and diverse older adults. In its 40 years, NAPCA has served over 100,000 diverse older adults through the organization’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), Senior Environmental Employment Program (SEE), and its Resource Center. For more information, please visit: www.napca.org.