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VCU grad creates COVID-19 text-for-help service to aid vulnerable Virginians

In the past weeks, Deyo formed a team of volunteers and created a service that he calls COVID TEXT ASSIST.
Posted at 11:04 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 18:38:38-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- As COVID-19 grips Central Virginia and social-distancing restrictions are put in place, people are trying their best to adjust to a “new normal.”

One former VCU grad and his team of volunteers said they are ready stand in the gap for those who are at high risk and can’t leave home.

Logan Deyo said that for people in need, help is just a simple text or phone call away.

In the past weeks, Deyo formed a team of volunteers and created a service that he calls COVID TEXT ASSIST.

“It’s a text/phone platform that high risk people can use if they need groceries or prescription from the pharmacy," Deyo said. "They text COVID request and give us information, and we look at their zip code and pair them with the closest volunteer who will run that errand. It’s a service that is free of charge."

The 23-year-old said his group obtained financial help from a 1517 fund grant to get started, and that their platform is ready to take customer requests.

Deyo has a few dozen registered volunteers who are ready to complete errands for senior citizens and other high risk people who are unable to go outside due to Coronavirus restrictions.

“We all know someone who is high risk. So, this is just a way to get them help without them exposing themselves to getting sick,” Deyo said.

Customers who can't text are also able to call the number and receive help.

He’s encouraging people to share their COVID TEXT ASSIST number on social media and with family and friends.

Interested in volunteering? Deyo said anyone who wants to help can text the words COVID VOLUNTEER and enter their zip code and someone will get in touch.

Anyone needing this service can now text the words COVIDREQUEST to 855-410-1401, or call the number.

The services are currently being offered in the metro Richmond area and surrounding counties.