Frequently Asked Questions
What is the mission of Good Neighbors?
Good Neighbors was created by Nesterly to bring people together for the well-being and safety of our community. Good Neighbors supports at risk individuals who need to maintain social distancing as a result of COVID-19 by matching them with volunteers to fulfill basic needs including door-step deliveries and friendly check-ins. We envision this platform as a way to connect in a time of physical isolation.
How does Good Neighbors work?
Good Neighbor is a free platform that connects at risk individuals who need to maintain social distancing, with volunteers in their community. After an individual submits a request for a delivery or check-in call, Good Neighbors will reach out to our 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.
Where is Good Neighbors operating?
We are currently facilitating deliveries in the greater Boston area and Louisville area, however, phone calls and letter writing can be conducted from all 50 U.S. states.
What services can a Good Neighbor help with?
A volunteer can help deliver items from a nearby store or food pantry. They can also conduct friendly check-ins (i.e. phone calls and snail mail).
Is there a fee to use Good Neighbors?
Good Neighbors is a Nesterly initiative, powered by volunteers. There is no fee to use the service.
How do I pay for deliveries?
There are a number of ways you can pay for deliveries
- The recipient can call ahead to the store to place the order and pay with their bank card over the phone, letting them know that a volunteer will be coming to pick up the items on their behalf.
- Alternatively, the recipient can pay the volunteers before or after the delivery via cash, check, or an automated payment system of their choice (e.g. Venmo, PayPal).
- If you are delivering from a food bank, no payment is necessary.
What if I cannot pay for deliveries?
If you cannot pay for food or supplies, or you are submitting a request on behalf of someone who cannot pay, please research local free resources and we’ll hopefully be able to connect you with a Good Neighbor volunteer to pick up and deliver.
Please use the request form (instructions here) to provide all the necessary information the volunteer will need, including but not limited to the address and relevant pick-up hours, and any special instructions. For instance, you may need to call the organization ahead to confirm availability and indicate that you’ll be using a proxy for pick up.
How can I help spread the word?
You can help support at risk individuals by sharing information in your community and to your digital network.
- Post a note of support on NextDoor .
- Share information about Good Neighbors on social media and be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
- Print out our Flyer and post in public spaces (apartment complex lobby, grocery store bulletin board, laundromat, etc.) Please note: If posting in a store, receive consent from the property owner first.
What happens after I put in a request?
After you put in a request for a delivery or check-in call, Good Neighbors will reach out to our volunteer community. Once we are able to find a compatible volunteer, they will contact you directly via email or phone to facilitate the delivery or check-in call. If you have put in a request for a letter or postcard, volunteers will send it directly to your address.
How long do deliveries take?
We try to fulfill deliveries within 1-3 days. We will contact you if we are unable to fulfill your delivery in that time.
Who is eligible to receive deliveries?
Anyone who is at risk and must maintain social distancing as a result of COVID-19 is eligible to receive deliveries in our operating region. To sign up to receive deliveries, you must provide your name, phone number, address and a list of items you’d like delivered.
Who is eligible to receive friendly check-ins?
Anyone who is at risk and must maintain social distancing as a result of COVID-19 is eligible to sign up to receive friendly check-ins.
Can I submit a request on someone’s behalf?
Yes, you can submit a request for a delivery or friendly check-in on someone else’s behalf. Use the form (instructions here) to input the request and make sure the contact phone number is the number of the person best-equipped to coordinate details with the volunteer. You can also give us a call at (877) 958-8785 and we can assist you.
Can I receive a delivery from a local food bank/pantry?
Yes, you can request for a volunteer to pickup and deliver goods from a local food bank/pantry. When filling out the request form, please include the name, address, phone number and hours of operation for 2-3 locations near your home.
Church of the Covenant
Address: 67 Newbury St., Boston MA
Phone number: 617-266-7480
Hours of operation: Saturday, Sunday 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
What if I am experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, we ask that you not reimburse your volunteer in cash but through Venmo or another payment app. You can also call ahead to the store to place the order and pay with your credit card over the phone, letting them know that a volunteer will be coming by to pick up the items on your behalf.
Can I pay for my delivery with SNAP/EBT?
Yes, you can provide your volunteer with your SNAP/EBT card to pay for food. Please remember that it cannot be used for household supplies (paper towels, wipes, etc.) or other items. If you decide to use your SNAP/EBT card, it is important that you give your volunteer clear instructions on how to use your card and PIN and that you trust the volunteer to return the card with the receipt. For more information, visit Mass.gov
How do you guarantee volunteers do not have COVID-19?
We cannot guarantee that every volunteer does not have the virus, however, we have implemented guidelines to help minimize risk. All volunteers must confirm that they feel healthy, display no symptoms of COVID-19, have not traveled out of the country or come in contact with a sick person in the past 14 days.
Is my information kept private?
We take privacy of your personal information very seriously. Your information will not be publicly visible and we will only share the contact information you provide with the volunteer who fulfills your delivery or friendly check-in.
Who is eligible to volunteer for deliveries?
To volunteer for deliveries with Good Neighbors, you must feel healthy, display no symptoms of COVID-19, have not traveled out of the country or come in contact with a sick person in the past 14 days. You must also live or have access to our operating region.
Do I have to go through a background check?
If you are making a delivery in the City of Boston, our partners at the City require that you go through a one-time free background check. The whole process will just take a couple of minutes.
As soon as you accept a request with a required background check you will be prompted to submit your information securely through Checkr, a SOC 2 type II compliant, City-approved third-party service. You can then contact the recipient to coordinate the delivery.
What happens after I sign up?
Once you sign up, you will receive a text asking if you are available to fulfill a request. Upon your confirmation, we will share information and instructions for you to directly contact your recipient. After you fulfill the request, click the button “Complete” on the acceptance page.
What if I can’t complete a request?
If you can’t fulfill the request, you are able to cancel at any time. To cancel, click on the link provided in your text message and indicate by selecting the blue button “Cancel”. You can also send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, if you no longer want to receive text messages, there is an option to reply ‘Stop’ which will unsubscribe you. To reactivate text messaging, please reach out to us via email.
How do I stop receiving requests?
To stop receiving request notifications via SMS, simply reply ‘STOP’ and you will be unsubscribed.
Is there an expected turnaround time on deliveries?
We ask that you not accept a delivery request if you can’t complete it in the next 24 hours. If you’re unable to commit to the delivery in that time, you can always cancel. You’ll be reaching out to your recipient directly to coordinate a time that works for you both.
What is the delivery protocol?
We urge all our participants to abide by the CDC safety guidelines when completing deliveries.
- Clean or sanitize your hands before, after and during handling the items in your delivery. Wear gloves and a face covering throughout your delivery, and use self-checkout where available.
- Drop off the delivery at your recipient’s door, and ring their doorbell or call them to let them know the items are there. NEVER enter a recipient’s home.
- Be sure to include the receipt in the bag.
- If the items have not already been paid for, recipients can pay volunteers via cash, check, or an automated payment system of their choice.
- Practice social distancing at all times (walking on the street or in the store).
What if the delivery or check-in does not go as planned?
If you encounter someone who needs urgent medical attention or you feel unsafe in the situation, please call 911.