Coronavirus update: Guidelines for clients, staff and volunteers

Help At Your Door clients, staff and volunteers,

Help at Your Door has been monitoring the recent developments around the spread of the coronavirus infection, COVID-19, and has determined that it will continue to offer grocery assistance and delivery, transportation, and home support services to seniors during this difficult time period. To minimize risk, we have developed the guidelines on how grocery deliveries will be handled. Given the uncertain and rapidly changing circumstances surrounding containment of the virus’s spread, we will be continually monitoring the effectiveness of these guidelines and updating them to reflect the latest available information on how to minimize the risk of infection.


1.  We have mandated that any staff or volunteer who is has any illness symptoms stay at home.

2.  We have implemented enhanced cleaning procedures for all grocery bins and vans.

3.  We ask that any client who has symptoms of the coronavirus to notify our office prior to requesting any service, as well as notify their medical providers. We will still make arrangements to get these people needed food but will take extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of all is not compromised

4.  When our Client Connectors speak with clients on the phone, they will inform clients that we are providing the option of “no contact” delivery, which is defined as follows: knocking on the door, leaving the groceries at the door, stepping back 6 feet or more when the client comes to the door, and waiting while the client brings groceries into his/her home. All communications with the client will be carried on at a distance of 6 feet or more.

Otherwise, deliverers will be abiding by a “limited contact” policy, which is defined as follows: knocking on the door, and when the client comes to the door, asking the client to stand back at least 6 feet for the deliverer to bring the groceries into the home and leave them inside the doorway or on a counter in the kitchen, according to the client’s preference. The deliverer will then step back outside of the home to communicate with the client from a distance of 6 feet or more.

If a client requests “no contact” delivery, please indicate that in the “Notifications About Client” note box (for Cub orders) or via email to

We are also asking Client Connectors to let their clients know that due to product shortages at the stores, they may receive more substitutions than usual. Clients who currently have “no substitutions” selected are encouraged to change their preference to allow substitutions at this time.

5.  We encourage volunteer shoppers to support vulnerable seniors by continuing to shop for them, but require those shoppers who are ill to stay home.
6.  Transportation drivers are required to wipe down door handles before and after each trip. And we encourage our volunteer drivers to continue to support the provision of transportation services to vulnerable seniors, unless a driver is ill.
7.  Needed home support services will continue at this time. If a project can be delayed, we may select to put it on a waiting list for April.
8.  Help at Your Door is working closely with government officials to coordinate additional prevention measures. We appreciate your understanding and support during this time.


8441 Wayzata Blvd., #160, Golden Valley, MN 55426 | 651-642-1892

Volunteer chronicles: Sightseeing in Burnsville and sneaking cheeseburgers

Volunteer chronicles: Sightseeing in Burnsville and sneaking cheeseburgers

Our volunteers go above and beyond to provide a sense of companionship to our clients, and volunteer Doug Johnson is a prime example of that. As a personal driver volunteer, he forms deeper bonds with clients as he drives them to appointments or on errand runs. Plus, he has fun doing it – especially when it ends in a secret cheeseburger run!



Why do you volunteer for Help at Your Door?

My plan of retiring and doing nothing lasted for about one week. After 43 years of professional work, I realized I needed to be making some kind of contribution in order to be happy. In looking for volunteer opportunities online, I found HAYD. I like driving clients to their various engagements, getting a chance to visit with them, and having the flexibility and support of the office staff. I have an 87-year-old mother down in Iowa who I can’t help on a daily basis (not that she would accept the help anyway) so in a sense, I do this volunteering to honor her as well.


What is your favorite memory volunteering with Help at Your Door?

I get such a kick out of some of the comments and requests made by clients. One was in awe of a route that I took that she thought was a pretty as a national park (McAndrews Road in Burnsville!). Another asked that I swing through the McDonald’s drive through for an illicit cheeseburger. And yet another warned me quite strongly not to watch over her shoulder and judge as she grocery shopped. One client quite frankly stated that she didn’t remember me, but she remembered my car. You never know what people will say.


What’s one thing you’ve learned from a client?

What I’ve learned from all the clients is that providing rides is only part of this work – it is also providing companionship and conversation. People who live alone, myself included, need to have positive interactions with others on a regular basis. I think HAYD recognizes that part of its mission is not just to help people live independently, but to do so happily.



Interested in joining Doug and our 500 other volunteers? Visit the Volunteer page to learn about different ways to get involved and how to sign up.

Event: Souper Bowl – Celebrate with Help At Your Door

Event: Souper Bowl – Celebrate with Help At Your Door

You’re Invited
Enjoy a meal featuring gourmet soups. Celebrate with music and silent auction and learn how Help At Your Door helps seniors remain living independently.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 28th, 2020 | 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. *Cash Bar

WHERE:  Brookview, 316 Brookview Parkway S., Golden Valley, MN

If you are unable to attend, please consider making a donation.

All proceeds will go towards helping seniors maintain their independence in the greater Twin Cities.

Event Schedule

5:30 p.m. – Social Hour / Silent Auction *Cash Bar

6:30 p.m. – Buffet Dinner

7:00 p.m. – Program

One in four seniors lives alone, and in our state, over 100,000 are threatened by hunger. Between 2010 and 2030, the number of individuals who are older than 85 will more than double.

For the past 35 years, Help At Your Door has been providing access to food so that older adults in the Twin Cities can maintain their independence and continue living in their homes.

Easy and Healthy Fall Soup Recipe

Easy and Healthy Fall Soup Recipe

Celebrate fall with a tasty, hearty soup! This time of year, it is easy to find carrots, cauliflower, turnips, onions, broccoli, cabbage, kale and potatoes. All of these vegetables add vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to your diet.


  • 2 carrots, grated or cut into slices
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped or 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • Left-over or frozen vegetables, such as green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, green peas, corn, etc.
  • 6 cups of water (beef or chicken broth, tomato juice or V8 juice can be used in place of water)
  • Meat, cut up, such as cooked chicken or turkey, cooked and crumbled hamburger (optional)
  • ½ cup of uncooked pasta (elbow macaroni, shells or rings), rice, or barley (optional)
  • Seasonings including pepper, basil, tarragon, a bay leaf (Remove bay leaf when cooking is complete.)


  1. Grate or chop the vegetables by hand or in a food processor.
  2. Put all of the ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover the soup.
  3. Simmer for 1 to 2 hours. Check the soup often and add water as needed.

This soup recipe makes about 10 servings. Leftover soup can be stored in containers and frozen to use for future lunches or dinners. Toast, crackers, or rolls can be served with the soup.

Keeping Older Adult’s Homes Safe This Spring

Spring has sprung, and that means saying goodbye to cold weather and hello to spring cleaning and chores around the home. If you would like to assist a senior with preparing for the upcoming season, but live far away, or you don’t have the time or the tools, send them our way. We would love to help.

For those looking for ways to keep an older adult’s home safe this spring, look no further. We’ve adapted a list of important safety tasks to keep your home humming along this season (originally posted by DailyCaring here).

Our trusted Help At Your Door Handyman services offer a variety of springtime assistance. You can pick from the extensive list of help we offer, or let our staff come and assess your home for fall risks and minor repair work:


  • Install grab bars (if needed) or make sure existing ones are sturdy and well-attached
  • Bath mats are replaced with non-skid low profile mats
  • Install a raised toilet seat or safety frame (if needed) or check that existing ones are sturdy
  • Tub or shower floor is non-slip
  • Automatic night lights make it easy to see at night


  • Emergency contact information is clearly posted on the fridge and near the telephone
  • Appliances are in good working condition and within easy reach
  • Frequently used items are in easy reach
  • Unnecessary appliances are put away


  • Automatic night lights light the way to the bathroom
  • Bedside lamp is easy to turn on and off
  • Phone is easy to reach from the bed
  • Bed is easy to get into and out of
  • Clothes are easy to reach

General house

  • Water heater is set to a temperature that won’t scald
  • All sinks and drains are in good working order
  • Hallways and main floor spaces are clear of clutter
  • Electrical cords are secured at the edges of rooms
  • Lighting is bright and on/off switches are at every doorway, replace light bulbs as needed or switch to long-lasting LED bulbs
  • Change smoke detector batteries or change to a 10-year smoke detector – or change carbon monoxide batteries
  • Make sure fire extinguishers are fully charged and easily accessible
  • Furniture is sturdy and in good shape – no wobbles
  • Flooring is smooth and free of tripping hazards
  • Hanging pictures, mirrors, wall décor, curtains or blinds to ensure that they are safely secured on walls

Outside the house

  • House numbers are clearly visible from the street, night and day
  • Walkways are clear and free of tripping hazards
  • Railing and ramp installation and repair
  • Screen repair/cleaning
  • Fence repair
  • Window washing
  • Replacing or installing summer screens
  • Minor landscaping


New Help At Your Door Finance Director

Help At Your Door is pleased to welcome Dawn Germscheid to the team as Finance Director.

Dawn Germscheid has more than 30 years of extensive accounting and finance experience in both private and nonprofit sectors. Her experience includes business development, financial system creation and implementation, general ledger accounting, administration, operations and all aspects of non-profit reporting and compliance.

Prior to joining Help at Your Door, Dawn worked for more than 11 years in the non-profit sector in leadership roles.  These included Director of Finance and Operations at The Bridge for Youth, Finance Director Consultant for MAP for Non Profits and the Director of Finance and Administration for Wayside House.  During these roles she oversaw the operation of the Accounting, Administration, Facility Management, Human Resources and IT Departments.  Dawn is a graduate of Northeast Wisconsin College with a degree in Accounting.  She is an active member of the Non Profit Finance Group – Twin Cities.

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