Meet the New Yorkers delivering supplies and joy

Invisible Hands
United States (New York)

Just ten days before this was written, the lives of four twenty-something friends – Simone Policano, Healy Chait, Mimi Aboubaker and Liam Elkind – looked very different. Healy and Liam were both readying to finish their junior year of college, Simone was busy wrapping up her acting role in an off-Broadway play and Mimi was focused on launching her financial aid start-up.

But, as COVID-19 began to spread rapidly, the group, who met through mutual acquaintances, were all struck by health care workers who were risking their lives to help their local communities. “We decided if they can do that, then we can deliver some groceries,” Simone says. A week later, they launched Invisible Hands, an initiative that serves elderly citizens and other high-risk people who are completely confined to their homes.

“There is a deep desire to do good in a world that often feels so bad.” – Liam Elkind

The group, which is based in New York and New Jersey, fields orders through its website, then a volunteer safely shops and delivers groceries and supplies to homes of those in need. After one week, Invisible Hands has amassed 5,000 volunteers and inspired similar organisations around the world.

Not only does Invisible Hands provide a much-needed service in their community, it’s also making meaningful connections⁠ – at a safe, social distance, of course ⁠– with each delivery. The group hopes that they can inspire others to do similar work in their own communities. They have already received calls and emails from local organisers and public servants from Mexico to Kenya to Malaysia.


Read more ► An interview with the founders on Vogue

Volunteer ► Click here to sign up for Invisible Hands

Written by

Lisa Goldapple, Editor-in-chief, Atlas of the Future (24 March 2020)

Project leader

Simone Policano, Healy Chait, Mimi Aboubaker and Liam Elkind


This project has been selected as part of AgeFutures, a new storytelling project that maps the innovations transforming the lives of older people, and the designers, entrepreneurs and community leaders – across all generations – behind them. Atlas of the Future is excited to partner with Independent Age.

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