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City launches new COVID-19 volunteer platform with Nesterly

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Mayor's Office

The free platform connects older, at-risk individuals with volunteers in their community.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh along with the Department of Neighborhood Development, the Age Strong Commission, and Nesterly announced the launch of Good Neighbors, a free platform that connects older, at-risk individuals with volunteers in their community to fulfill basic needs including door-step deliveries.

"We are seeing the best of Boston with residents looking for ways to volunteer and support those in need," said Mayor Walsh. "This new volunteer platform will help organize and activate volunteers looking to help seniors who need things like groceries, medication, or just a good old fashioned phone call check-in."

In response to COVID-19, Nesterly created the new platform in partnership with the City of Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development, the Age Strong Commission, and the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics. An older Bostonian (or someone on their behalf) can submit a request, either by phone, online or email, for delivery of groceries or a prepared meal, a wellness check-in call, or a written correspondence. All volunteers go through a background check and receive guidance regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety protocols when completing deliveries. 

Anyone who is at risk and must maintain social distancing as a result of COVID-19 is eligible to receive deliveries and friendly check-ins. After an individual submits a request, Good Neighbors will reach out to their volunteer community to locate a compatible volunteer. The volunteer will then contact the recipient directly via email or phone to facilitate the delivery or check-in.

"At a time like this, we are especially grateful for the responsive and innovative team at the City of Boston, in particular the Department of Neighborhood Development, Age Strong, and MONUM, who partnered with us to build Good Neighbors, a timely and much-needed platform," said Noelle Marcus, Founder and CEO of Nesterly. "We are proud to continue to connect generations and shine light on the incredible generosity and resiliency of our communities."

In 2017, the City of Boston and Nesterly launched an Intergenerational Homeshare Pilot that matches households with a spare bedroom to students who are seeking an affordable place to stay during their studies, as well as an opportunity to engage with the local community. The program aims to encourage age-friendly development along with alternative housing options by exploring the creation of an Intergenerational Homeshare, matching older homeowners with extra rooms to rent with people who need to rent a room.

To get what you need safely from a volunteer neighbor, or to sign up to volunteer, complete a short form at www.nesterlygoodneighbors.com or call 877-958-8785 for direct assistance. For more information on the Good Neighbors program, please visit their FAQ.

About the Age Strong Commission

The Age Strong Commission works towards making Boston a city that fully embraces aging. Our mission is to enhance the lives of people 55+ with meaningful programs, resources, and connections so we can live and age strong together in Boston. For more than 50 years, we have served constituents as a City department, Council on Aging, and Area Agency on Aging. In 2017, the Commission launched its Age-Friendly Action Plan, which is the City's blueprint to make Boston the best city to live and age in. Learn more boston.gov/age-strong.