Army of Lander Volunteers Help Mr. D’s Deliver Groceries

    When all of Wyoming was told to shelter in place in late March of this year, Carol Smith knew that the resulting isolation wasn’t going to work for her. An active and caring member of the Lander community, Carol wanted to be out helping her friends and neighbors in any way she could. So she reached out to Ashli Woods and a few other friends, put together some fliers, and started checking with local grocery stores and pharmacies to see if they could deliver groceries and other necessities to people in need.

    At first, it was slow going. The stores were so busy dealing with the challenges of the pandemic that it was hard to find time even to coordinate with volunteers. Worried, Carol and Ashli finally walked into Mr. D’s and asked how she and her fellow volunteers could help. 

    “We’ve had four orders for delivery come in this morning,” the manager told her. “Do you have time to deliver them?”


    With a resounding yes, Carol and her team immediately went to work. Then, things started to take off in a big way as more and more people expressed interest in helping deliver groceries and other essentials.

    “I got to where I was managing 40 or 50 volunteers. A lot of them were laid off from their jobs and wanted to fill their time doing something to help out in the community. Most of the volunteers early on were actually NOLS employees, and we also now have several Rotary members that consistently volunteer with us. We had so many deliveries that we worked Monday-Friday from 8-5 for a while!”

    To date, Carol estimates that the volunteers have filled upwards of 3,000 deliveries – and they’re still going. They’ve been able to deliver to elderly community members, immunocompromised individuals, and even those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are recovering in quarantine. The volunteers have also taken necessities to people who are waiting at home for COVID test results. And though delivery is a big part of what they do, the volunteers actually spend the bulk of their hours “shopping” in the store to fill orders that have come in.

    “This has been a wonderful thing to be part of,” Carol says. “I feel like I’ve easily gotten more out of it than I’ve put in. The Motherways at Mr. D’s have been so incredible to work with – they always put people first, and I’ve made some amazing friendships here. We’ve had days where we’ve used our masks as kleenexes to wipe our eyes because of the emotion of it all. They’ve become like another family to me.”


    The volunteers are still delivering on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and they are actively looking for more help! If you’re interested, please email Carol Smith at [email protected].

    Often, members of the volunteer squad have received tips. But, since they weren’t in it to make money, they didn’t know what to do with them at first. Eventually, they decided to use the tips to help local food pantries. They’ve assisted in providing meals to hundreds of people in the community through the donation of these tips.

    Inspired by the dedication of the #LanderTogether volunteers, Mr. D’s also partnered with Almost Home WY, which helps homeless members in the community work towards finding a stable home of their own. They help fill the pantries of Almost Home’s clients, with the grocery orders coming out of an account set aside specifically for that purpose. 


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