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As the coronavirus spreads, elderly people are being encouraged by government officials to stay inside. Errand Catchers goes outside for them.

Don Davidson and his wife, Christine, designed the Northwest Florida business for people who live independently but don’t drive. They make deliveries and provide transportation for people from Mary Esther to Destin, Crestview, Niceville and Bluewater Bay and sometimes from Pensacola to Panama City.

“They keep their independence, but we bring everything to them,” Davidson said. “We designed the company to do everyone’s running around from grocery and medical supplies pick-up to taking them to doctor’s appointments. A lot of the seniors around here don’t have families living nearby, so if they have an outpatient procedure, there’s nobody to wait for them. Our company will do that as well.”

Errand Catchers is currently hiring drivers to accommodate for its increased business during the pandemic.

The business has been especially crucial for the Air Force Enlisted Village in Shalimar. The residents are on shutdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“Errand Catchers are providing a tremendous service to a population that is at high risk for coronavirus that can’t travel to get items they need,” said Brooke McLean, the Air Force Enlisted Village President and CEO. “They’re actually doing a community service that is life-saving. We’re glad we can partner with them to help the residents of AFEV.”

As one of the Village’s approved vendors, Errand Catchers takes extra precautions while delivering supplies via minivans.

“Our vehicles get a wipe down after every use with sanitary (wipes),” Davidson said. “We have Purell in all of the vehicles for everyone to use. If a person is concerned about the coronavirus, we have masks we will use if they want us to wear them during their time. We don’t touch. As far as with Bob Hope – everyone hugs. We suspended that. We try to keep our space from the people for their safety as well as ours.”

The most popular services are grocery shopping and medication pick-up, Davidson said. While they try to shop in the morning when stores are more stocked, the residents understand limited supplies available, he said.

“Everyone’s been very nice,” Davidson said. “If we call them and they say, ‘I would like to have white bread,’ we’ll call and say, ‘They don’t have white bread; they do have hamburger buns,’ to give them options. We’re trying to help fill their lists as best as we can.”

Marilyn Christian, 61, has used Errand Catchers for transportation for three years. The Fort Walton Beach resident said her daughter gave her a gift certificate after she had a stroke.

“She knew she wasn’t always at my beck (and) call when I wanted to go to the store and stuff,” Christian said. “I have been so grateful for them. I’ll call them when I have to go to the grocery store or if I just want to get out and go to a little shopping strip where several stores are, they’ll do that.”

They’re always on time, she said.

“A lot of times they’ll be early,” Christian said. “They will tell you exactly where they are. They let you know every step of the way what they’re doing.”

When Christian first started using the company, the owners came by to just to meet her, she said. She appreciates their customer service.

“They are the nicest people and caring,” Christian said. “They do it, because this is what they do. You can tell they are sincere with it. They always greet you with a smile.”

Christian is being a “hermit” right now because of the coronavirus, but she can’t wait to call them again for transportation. She thinks their business fills a need in this area – especially now.

“They have a perfect name for their business,” Christian said. “They do all the errands you cannot do.”