Coronavirus: SoCal sisters create grocery shopping website to match volunteers, people in need

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Volunteers across Southern California are grocery shopping for those most at risk to the coronavirus then delivering it to their doorsteps, free of charge.

"I think a lot of us feel like there's so much happening already that is outside of our control," said volunteer Mercedes Arslanian. "This is at least something that makes me feel like I have some way to help."

It's all thanks to two sisters in Los Angeles who saw a need and quickly created a matching service for volunteers and people who need help. "Shopping Helpers LA" started as a simple idea with friends through a group chat.

"We started our WhatsApp group with maybe under 10 people, just some mutual friends. And then by the next morning, it was 30 and by the next day it was over 100," said co-founder Leeat Hatzav.

"Obviously, in the beginning we planned on Leeat and I going shopping, a few friends going shopping, but it turned into something really huge and now we are just at the computers all day," said co-founder Kayla Newman.

With so many calls for service, they had to create a website, myshla.com. Now, they have more than 450 volunteers who are able to process over 100 orders a day.

"It's been incredibly rewarding. Definitely busy, but really, really rewarding because we know that we're people's lifelines and people are relying on us for basic sustenance. And it's really an incredible thing to do," said Hatzav.

"We're building a better website, we're working on an app, and we just want this to be a nationwide service," said Rabbi Ram Newman.

For their father, a chaplain with the Los Angeles Police Department, it's beautiful to watch.

"As a parent it's so humbling and I can't tell you how proud I am of my daughters doing this and helping the community," said Rabbi Newman.
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