COVID-19 Response Service

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, A Block at a Time (ABAAT) is launching a COVID-19 Response action under ABAAT Helps. This service will work to help persons over 60 and at risk residents, in the Albany area, who are unable to go out to get essential items such as food, toiletries, medicine, and pet needs because of health risks connected to COVID-19.

Persons in Need of assistance can email ABAAT at or leave a message at 518-227-0012 and a volunteer will contact you as soon as possible. Please include your name and phone number in all emails and phone messages.

HELPERS please visit to fill out the HELPER form and we will respond by email within 48 hours with additional information.  

Program Guideline

Community members (Persons in Need) who are at increased health risk due to their age or underlying medical condition will be matched with a HELPER who can run errands to gather essential items. Persons in Need will be screened for risk of possible exposure to COVID-19 (questioner) and asked to adhere to program guidelines/purpose. In an attempt to prevent scams, Persons in Need will be given a PN ID Number so that they can verify a HELPER is from ABAAT. The Person in Need and their assigned HELPER will be given a matching PN ID for that days errands. ABAAT will change the code each time a Helper is assigned to a Person in Need.

Responsibilities of Person in Need:

  1. You will interact with HELPERS in a kind and courteous manner.
  2. Have a reasonable shopping list ready.
  3. Have a payment method for the purchase. Cards are preferred but cash will be accepted to ensure you get the needed items.
  4. Have reusable bags for HELPER.

HELPERS will also be screened for risk of exposure (questioner), asked to adhere to program guidelines/purpose and be provided with a unique HELPER ID Number (HIN) so that they can verify a caller is from ABAAT.

Responsibilities of HELPER:

  1. Pick up a shopping errand list from the person in need.
  2. Pick up and maintain control of any payment method provided by the person in need.
  3. Purchase as many items on the list as you are able to find.
  4. To return payment method/change, receipts and items to the person in need within a reasonable period of time on the same day, unless there is an emergency situation.
  5. Only use any payment method they provide to purchase the items they have requested.
  6. Treat the Person in Need in a kind and courteous manner.

ABAAT will take all the precautions that we can but we are just a small group of volunteers working to help our communities. We are not health professionals and cannot guarantee that a Person in Need or a HELPER are not ill. It is expected that anyone who cannot pass the set criteria will not participate in the service. Should an issue come to our attention, we will take immediate action. ABAAT will also work to ensure that all HELPERS and Persons in Need adhere to program guidelines/purpose and do so in a kind and courteous manner. A Block at a Time is a small community group working to become a not-for-profit organization. Our mission is to empower and support people to build stronger communities a block at a time. Over the last year we have worked to help address issues in our community including providing a safe space for the community to be heard following an incident of police misconduct and responding to the victims of a large fire within Albany. We cannot do this without help from others both as volunteers and with donations. Donations can be made online by visiting, by mail to: ABAAT, P.O. Box 384, Albany NY 12201, or CashApp $ABAAT.

Thank you for supporting our community group. | Twitter @ABlockataTime

Please be advised participation in this community service is voluntary. By participating in this service you release ABAAT and its volunteers from any liability.

Useful Links

                United Way of the Greater Capital Region

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany

                Times Union COVID-19 Map

                Useful tutorials on using Zoom as a conference platform