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Austinites run errands for strangers stuck at home during coronavirus pandemic

With the help of social media, some Austinites are lending a helping hand to the elderly and those self-quarantined.

AUSTIN, Texas — Some Austinites are using their free time during this coronavirus pandemic to run errands for strangers stuck at home.

It’s fair to say we're living through an unusual time, but sometimes unique circumstances can bring out the best in people. Stephenie Hass and Rachel Sherriff know all about that.

Over the past week, Hass has faced bare shelves and long lines at the grocery store, not just for herself, but to buy needed items on behalf of complete strangers who are self-quarantined or elderly.

“The woman with the insulin ... her family reached out to me from California,” said Hass.

It all started with her posting to Twitter and volunteering to help.

“Because that's who I am … who we are as a community,” said Hass.

Meanwhile, this college student, Rachel Sherriff, used Facebook to get her message out.

Credit: Rachel Sherriff

“I’m a Texas State student,” said Sheriff. “I'm off of school for two weeks, so I offered to do grocery store pickups, pharmacy runs and emergency child care.”

Instead of getting stuck in the fear, she said her dad inspired her to do something too.

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“I know there's a lot of people in my neighborhood that are older and more vulnerable, and I thought that they could probably use some help,” Sheriff said.

When it's all said and done, they said helping their fellow neighbors was worth it.

“They were really happy and then they asked how much I was going to charge them,” said Sherriff.

“We chatted for a few minutes and she gave me two boxes of cheerios as a thank you,” said Hass.

When they're out on their runs, they said they make sure to carry lots of hand sanitizer and to keep a safe distance from those in need.

WATCH: How to help during the coronavirus outbreak


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