Shopping angels deliver in time of need

25 May 2020

UQ alumnus Tara O'Kane is supposed to be starting her new career in London – but the coronavirus had other plans. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, O'Kane has decided to use this time to help others by co-founding a grocery-delivery service.

The Shopping Angels are a group of volunteers working to deliver food and groceries to the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Co-founder Tara O’Kane (Bachelor of Engineering / Bachelor of Commerce ’20) was just two weeks into a three-month-long trip from Brisbane to London to start a new role with KPMG when news of the COVID-19 outbreak hit.

As a pandemic was declared and national borders around the world began to close, O’Kane decided it was time to return to Brisbane.

Upon returning, she was forced into self-isolation, unable to do the day-to-day tasks many of us, before now, had taken for granted.

It was then she saw an advertisement for Shopping Angels in the US.

Hearing stories of those who were able to help at-risk populations inspired O'Kane to find out if she could bring a similar service to Australia.

bagged groceries“I reached out to Shopping Angels in the US and asked whether they were interested in expanding to Australia. As it turns out, [co-founder] Julian Corvin had asked the same thing, so they connected us,” O'Kane said.

To get started, O’Kane – with the help of Corvin – set up a Facebook page to spread awareness of the service.

The duo had a number of virtual meetings with the Shopping Angels team in the US, which helped them understand how to best match clients with volunteers.

This due diligence is paying off, with Shopping Angels currently boasting a 100 per cent success rate matching clients with ‘angels’ in Australia.

Read the full article in Contact Magazine to learn about the success of Shopping Angels.