Carrollton employee’s volunteer group delivers vital items, hope to at-risk elders

When Carrolton employee Greg Danson was thinking about the coronavirus crisis facing the world, his thoughts included his wife’s 93-year-old grandmother who lives alone in Pennsylvania.

North Texas Relief volunteers
North Texas Relief volunteers pose at food delivery drop off site after loading a van with items.
North Texas Relief volunteers
Greg Danson, in red shirt, and volunteer Joel Upton pose at a local collection/distribution point.

That’s when an idea popped into his head. “I wondered if there would be some way that we could assist our local senior citizens and other people in need who might not be able to leave their homes?” he recalled.

Last Thursday, the manufacturing production group leader decided to set up a Facebook group to see if likeminded folks would join with him to help those too frail to cope on their own.

“The reaction was amazing,” the Frisco, Texas, resident said. “In just 17 hours, we had more than 300 volunteers. We started getting grocery lists from those in need and delivering items to homes.”

North Texas Relief volunteer
A local woman donates food items.

As of March 20, the Facebook group – known as COVID-19 North Texas Relief – has grown exponentially to more than 6,600 members, illustrating the power of social media to spawn goodness in the community. Danson, who has used vacation time to get the effort going, has enlisted volunteers to take on roles in operations and logistics. Donation sites at local businesses have been set up to receive needed goods. Volunteer drivers routinely pick up items based on lists and then make deliveries.

Recipients respond gratefully. “For many, it’s a ray of hope when they were living in fear,” Danson said.

News reporters have stopped by to publish and broadcast stories (see Dallas Morning News article). Danson is getting emails and calls from as far away as California and Utah from others who want to know how they can donate or even replicate the program.

“To empower older people and others with medical conditions to maintain their lives in their own homes is an amazing thing,” Danson said. “Each time we make contact with those who need help, we make a big difference.”

Learn more about the COVID-19 North Texas Relief Facebook group.