Essential worker tells David Muir front-line donor group 'made an impact on my life'

The nonprofit group boxes up people's extra household items to donate.

July 16, 2020, 7:46 AM

Americans have celebrated essential workers keeping the country going during the coronavirus pandemic and now a new platform is giving back to those on the front lines.

A group of Dartmouth College students started Give Essential, which links donors with essential workers struggling to make ends meet.

Since the nonprofit first launched in April, Give Essential has reached over 15,000 essential workers and donors in 49 states with nearly $500,000 in donations.

The service compiles boxes of household items that donors already own to be packaged up and delivered to personnel on the front lines.

Bottles of donated household cleaners sit on a table at the Georgetown South Community Center in Manassas, Va., July 8, 2020.
Alex Edelman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pat, a nurse in Garden Grove, California, who asked ABC News not to share her last name, received a delivery that included groceries and masks.

As Americans continue to thank the quiet heroes across the country who have answered the call during the COVID-19 outbreak, more are sending what they can through Give Essential.

Cindy Shen from Salt Lake City shared her reason for donating with "World News Tonight" anchor David Muir in a video message.

"I wanted to help a firefighter and his 2-year-old son, because I wanted to give back to the essential workers who are on the front lines of this pandemic every single day," she told ABC News.

A California-based delivery man, Gabriel Garciasalas, told Muir how much the donation service meant to him as well.

"Throughout this whole pandemic, I have been working pretty much full time as a Door Dash driver," he said. "So just the help that they were able to give me -- I am very, very grateful."

Alyssa Henry from Dallas, Pennsylvania, took the opportunity to express her thanks in a video.

"I am a tractor-trailer loader and Give Essential has made an impact on my life. I was given baby clothes for my son," Henry said. "I want to thank the donators so much."

A sign reading "Thank you First Responders Stay Safe we care" greeting visitors as the Virginville Grange handed out chicken dinners, May 16, 2020, in Virginville, Pa., during the coronavirus outbreak.
Lauren A. Little/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Luiza Odhiambo, a junior at Dartmouth who helped create Give Essential, told Muir in a message on "World News Tonight" why they're doing this work.

"I personally come from a family of essential workers and I heard firsthand form nurses, grocery store clerks and others about how difficult it was for them," she explained. "So Give Essential for me was a way to help people like my family."

The team also said they vow to keep it going.

"These problems are not necessarily COVID issues," said Give Essential co-founder Amy Guan. "Nobody should ever have to choose between buying soap and being able to feed their kids for the week. So as long as we can fulfill these needs and create these resource matches, we will continue to do so."