It's their business to help. Grad students giving back in this time of crisis

Luke DeWilde and Petey Dicianni, graduate students, one studying at Stanford and the other at Pepperdine, came together for a common cause.  

They are among a group of graduate business students who are committed to aiding those who are at risk for developing COVID-19, or have other illnesses or risks to the immune system who need help with groceries or other supplies.  Luke calls his new nonprofit, aptly, ''Essential Supplies".

He told me via zoom  '' what we figured out is there are  several hundred volunteer organizations staffed by people with lower risk, and what we wanted to do was help connect them with anyone who needs an order, whether it's Chicago or LA or elsewhere.

You go to the website and place an order on line or use our toll free phone number.''  

Essential Supply will connect you with a volunteer organization in your zip code, like Petey's group that he's named ''SQD Ink" for ''Self Quarantined Delivery".

Petey's partnered with Essential Supply and is delivering in and around Malibu and it's really been rewarding for both him and his customers. You pay for the groceries, but not the delivery service.  

One man who 's had a transplant and is at risk if he goes out, and his elderly mother have really counted on them.

Petey told me ”They actually gave me a plate of pasta to go,  with meatballs  and oranges from their orange tree that was pretty successful trip.''  

The challenge now is to keep the number of volunteers up since school is pretty much out for the year and people will be heading back home for the summer if they're not already there and taking classes on line.  

But it's not just students they want and need, it's any community minded person willing to give their time, whose low risk.  The delivery is free, and faster they say than some of those you pay for, with the volunteers willing to go to multiple stores if necessary to fill a grocery list, and a commitment to building a relationship, a sense of community,  if you so desire.  

Remember, you pay for what you get, the savings comes with the lack of delivery or service charges. Maybe one day, Luke tells me, with enough donations the groceries could be free too.