KPIX Better TogetherBy Joe Vazquez


BELMONT (CBS SF) — A group of San Mateo teens have come to the aid of their homebound, COVID-19 vulnerable neighbors with a new service that makes sure they are getting the groceries they need.

The organization is called “Zoomers to Boomers”.

“We’re Generation Z, we’re the zoomers of the world, and we’re mostly delivering to the baby boomers,” said Jon Standlee, a 17-year-old junior at Carlmont High School in Belmont.

Standlee and some fellow teenagers do the grocery shopping, then drop off the bags at the homes of folks who made the order.

“Anyone who’s really afraid to leave the house under any circumstances. Immuno-compromised, along with many other elderly and retired,” Standlee said.

Tuesday afternoon, Standlee and a colleague, Amelia Hsich, who is also a 17-year-old junior at Carlmont, went shopping at Trader Joe’s for customers, including Vicki Renard of San Carlos who is a cancer survivor.

“I’m totally impressed,” Renard said. “It’s been a great help to me. I”m receiving chemo so I’m not able to go into stores, so this has been terrific!”

The zoomers said beyond the reward of helping neighbors, the deliveries are also a chance to get out of the house when they’ve been cooped up inside for months now.

“The fact that we as teenagers get a little bit of our freedom back because we’re able to be in our cars, getting fresh air, it’s a pretty amazing thing,” said Hsich.

Stacy Torres, an assistant professor of Sociology at UCSF Nursing School, said beyond the positive aspects of helping their community, she hopes the teenagers are also aware of the opportunity to learn from their older neighbors.

“It’s important to reach out to them in the ways that you are able to,” Torres said. “But it’s also important to remember how much they have to teach us. I’ve taken enormous solace from the wisdom of my elders who have lived through so much. Have lived through the polio epidemic, who have lived through wars and have seen a lot.”

Standlee said Zoomers to Boomers has expanded to several cities and welcomes new volunteers who can sign up through the web site, https://www.zoomerstoboomers.com/san-mateo

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