Like so many others, Danny Goldberg was scared on March 13, 2020.
All he knew about the novel coronavirus was that it forced the closure of his school, San Marcos High, and Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order mandating everyone remain in their houses and avoid close contact with others.
“I kind of freaked out a little bit to be honest,” the 17-year-old told the News-Press. “I just didn’t know what the rest of my year was going to look like, or even if my family and I would be safe.”
He spent the next couple of days at home, locked away in his room. It didn’t take long, however, for him to come out and do something really special.
Just five days later, he launched Zoomers to Boomers, an initiative where the younger generation of Gen Z would take it upon themselves to go to the grocery store for the elderly and immunocompromised, those most susceptible to the COVID-19 virus.
“I just realized that even though I am scared and putting myself in danger, the risks that I am at are so much lower comparatively to these other people. It was that realization that I’m in such a better off position that made me understand that I have to go out and help those people,” Danny said.
Little did he know just how much his message would resonate.
Currently, Zoomers to Boomers is now available across 36 cities, not just in California, but across the country. There’s also one group of zoomers Hyderabad, India.
Those who need assistance with their grocery shopping, as well as those interested in volunteering their services, can do so by visiting zoomerstoboomers.com.
“I honestly had no idea it was going to grow into what it has. When I had the idea I just knew there were neighbors in my community who needed help. As it grew, I realized this model that was created here is applicable to so many other areas and could help save so many potential lives. So why not spread?” he said.
At each city, there is a district manager of sorts running the operations and almost daily Danny tries to reach out to different managers. He recalled working 16 to 18 hours a day to help set up the new cities.
“There’s definitely been times where you know I’ve been overwhelmed. I really have my team to thank for not letting me fall apart,” Danny said with a laugh.
His friend who has been there with him since the beginning, Alex Wilson, gave him a hand, telling Danny to “log off, I can take it from here.”
Zoomers has more than 1,000 volunteers helping to deliver groceries to their “neighbors.”
The organization has been featured by national media outlets, including Forbes, Good Morning America and just last week, Danny accepted the volunteer award during the Hospice of Santa Barbara’s 4th annual Heroes of Hospice.
The current senior is finding a balance between school and helping his neighbors as he resumes high-school classes.
He hopes to attend Stanford University. Originally, he wanted to go into the field of medicine, like his father who is a doctor at Cottage Hospital, but Zoomers has made him think about getting into that nonprofit sector moving forward.
“This is something that I definitely want to continue for an extended period of time, especially throughout the pandemic. My goal is to keep the same volunteer base and just keep growing,” Danny said. “My team and I have talked about switching over from purely grocery delivery into more of the elderly support type of nonprofit where we would maintain grocery delivery and maybe do tech help and really try to work to build a bond between the younger and older communities.”
He recalled one of his many deliveries in the past six months to an elderly woman who hadn’t been able to get food for three weeks and was on her last can of food. Danny went out right away, bought everything and delivered it to her.
“Just seeing how happy and how much you can change one person’s day one person’s week by doing something that’s small, it made me really inspired to keep on doing what I was doing,” Danny said. “That’s the impact we are able to have.”