A Mom and Son Crowdsource A Way to Help Neighbors, and Sign-Ups are Growing

Rian and Kamal Julka.

Kamal Julka and her son Rian, who moved to the Upper West Side last year, have launched an effort to help neighbors cope with the coronavirus — in particular to help elderly neighbors with shopping and not feeling isolated.

Rian, a 13-year-old who attends Trinity, has seen his mother help people in other difficult situations, including after riots in New Delhi. That time, they crowdsourced lists of items people needed to recover.

This time, Rian helped Kamal start a sign-up sheet that people could share in the neighborhood. She hopes it gets passed around to doormen and spreads online so that people can ask their neighbors for help. They launched it on Monday afternoon and as of Monday evening 17 people had signed up. The people offered to help people with shopping, dog-walking and pharmacy pick-ups, and listed languages they speak. They live all over the neighborhood, from the West 60s to the 100s. “Hopefully, we’ll make a small difference together!” Kamal wrote.

The sign-up sheet is here.

(Kamal wrote that the people who deserve credit are the volunteers, not her and her son. We prodded her into sending the photo. Also, we are hearing of other similar efforts too and plan to write about them too.)

NEWS | 14 comments | permalink
    1. aj says:

      great job! have shared with doorman and building management (as they manage other uws buildings). perhaps also could share with organizations like DOROT, LiLY or the hamilton?

    2. Molly says:

      Coordinate this with BAIP-great job.

    3. Karen says:

      I speak Italian some Spanish French and German please sign me up

    4. Kamal says:

      Sign up sheet is editable, open to all! Please sign up – thank you.

    5. Wijmlet says:

      As a senior in NYC, I’d like to help but am not sure how.

      Ideas, please?

    6. Leigh says:


      Get together!

    7. Roberta McCormick says:

      You are both wonderful.
      It makes me feel proud to live on the Westside.
      Thank you!!

    8. joe says:

      Where do I sign up to request the offered help?

    9. Edie says:

      Thank you so much. I am at home with an at risk person and am concerned about someone who’s dog I walk. With her permission I have put her name on the list for assistance in hopes that someone closer to her can help out for now.

      • Carrie says:

        There is a link to a spread sheet at the bottom of the article. Add your name and highlight with yellow and someone will contact you.

    10. Christina says:

      Thank you Kamal and Rian, this is very helpful. What you are doing is also so heart warming!

    11. Janet Pytlik says:

      You are amazing! Thank you for bringing so many together to help each other out.

    12. Christina says:

      Dear Kamal and Rian,

      You are angels! Thank you so much, not only for having thought of this, but found a quick and easy way for people to connect. This is so helpful (I am a senior stuck at home, whereas I have always been very independent and don’t have family or friends nearby). People’s kindness shines through at times of need!!

      Take good care of yourselves.