Danny Goldberg was just like any other teenager this time last week.
Holed up in his home; no school on the docket; and self-isolating to make sure he didn’t have coronavirus.
But, Danny Goldberg isn’t your typical teenager.
And his next move qualifies as atypical.
As he sat there in his room, more worried about his father reporting to work as an emergency room doctor, he thought to himself, “How can I make a difference?”
Growing up in a household where giving back is a natural inclination and not a chore, 17-year-old Danny began to think about the community.
Who needed help in this time of uncertainty?
He landed on those that are older than 65, as well as those that are immunocompromised.
“They are supposed to be staying inside and self-isolating, what they are dealing with is significantly worse than the rest of us in every way,” the San Marcos High junior said.
Enter Zoomers to Boomers, a grocery delivery service run by the teenager.
Danny built the website nearly overnight (zoomerstoboomers.com), texted a couple of buddies to see if they’d be in to help, struck a partnership with Gladden & Sons Produce and took to the neighborhood communication app, “NextDoor,” to do his marketing.
He now has a client list of nearly 30 people.
The real kicker? Danny and his crew refuse to be paid, doing this to help a portion of the community that sincerely needs the help — holding true to their motto, “We are Generation Z and we are here to help.”
“There is no infrastructure in place to help with something like this,” Danny said. “So we are building one.”
To date, Danny and his crew have delivered to about a dozen homes in the community, simply letting those that are under self-isolation know what the final bill is upon drop-off.
Danny enjoys the reactions he gets when he meets many of these people for the first time.
“Every time I knock on the door and someone opens, they are jumping with joy, they are super excited and super grateful,” Danny said. “A couple of people told me that they wish they could hug me — but we have to stay a good distance apart.”
Danny isn’t a stranger to giving back, drawn to helping others at nearly all levels.
In the seventh grade, he helped create a program at his former elementary school, Vieja Valley, where he would return with other middle-schoolers to help teach students that were struggling — albeit reading, writing or math.
“I tried to mentor them, too. I wanted them to enjoy trying to learn, not look at it as something they were forced to do,” Danny said. “That attitude was the main thing that stopped a lot of the kids.”
Since his freshman year at San Marcos, he has also tutored physics in the school’s Royal Time mentor program.
“Rather than try to force material into someone’s brain, I tried to mentor them into a new mindset. I wanted them to want to learn more about all of these new, cool things,” Danny said.
He’s also participated in the high school’s Link Crew, where he has teamed up with freshmen to help them acclimate to school, encouraging them to go to sports games and become active on campus.
“We want them to make friends, and not be stuck in a position to have a bad high school experience,” Danny said.
His connection to Vieja Valley continues, as he aids sixth-graders in the Math Super Bowl every Thursday morning, helping students through learning new math material with new strategies.
He was also challenged this past season, named a captain of San Marcos’ boys water polo team as a junior, something that speaks to his character and leadership ability.
“It taught me a lot to learn to take a group of people and mold them together behind one mindset, all of us having the same drive for one goal,” Danny said.
That leadership has come in handy as he has built out his grocery delivery team, alongside friends Taylor, Nat and Lily.
“A lot of people wanted to help, but I had to lead them, talk to them, form the group,” Danny said.
Giving back runs in the family with the Goldbergs, as Danny’s older sister, Gaby, has returned home from Stanford and is actively looking to help local small businesses with the website, https://www.support-sb.org/. The site’s mission statement is “an online marketplace for customers to support their favorite local businesses through e-gift cards.”
The site’s marketplace already includes dozens of businesses.
Danny is happy to have Gaby and his older brother, Ben, back home to ride out COVID-19, but also knows that his family follows the lead of their father, a 55-year-old that returns to the ER every day despite his own asthma and the risks involved in dealing with a global pandemic first hand.
“It definitely makes us nervous, but a big thing in our family is it’s all about helping others, making sure our community is doing well,” Danny said. “It boils down to where our priorities lie. It would be easy for him to just say he isn’t going to go in for a couple of months and ride this out with his family. But he goes in there every day and puts himself on the front line of the disease we are all facing.”
It seems as though the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.