The last 12 months have been some of the most taxing in recent memory. Nearly a year of intermittent lockdown, skyrocketing unemployment rates, global pandemic.
Not necessarily the right time to start a business, when so many need assistance. Unless, of course, the business you start is the business of helping others out. Amidst one of the more nutty summers on record, the Irvine-based Ola-Help! got its start. Looking to assist people with fast and efficient services and delivery for personal shopping, buying, sending gifts, or even scheduling rides for appointments for residents in South OC, there isn’t a challenge too large for the team.
Specifically targeted at those most compromised by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ola-Help! looks for ways to meet the demands of a world driven by technology and connection when so many were driven into isolation, separated from the ones they love who helped them stay relevant through computers, tablets, and the seemingly endless scroll of smart phone apps. My Mom turned 88 in September, and we haven’t seen her in months. As such, we’ve taken to screens as much as we can to help walk her through paying some of her bills online, downloading podcasts from the cloud, or getting her set up on a shared photo feed so she can see incoming images of the grandkids.
But not everyone has the bandwidth to support what sometimes feels like a part time job keeping their loved ones afloat, especially during such trying times.
“We believe in humans helping humans," says Owner Prashna Raniga, Ph.D. "Assisting those that are the most vulnerable part of the community is our priority.” When you call Ola-Help!, you speak with a person, and not an automated message system asking you to repeat your command until you’re blue in the face.
A recent 5-Start Yelp review by client Mariam A. of Irvine speaks to the level of customer service you can expect: “Ola-Help! is an amazing service! I was looking for a someone to deliver some perishable items to someone locally and Ola-Help! was the PERFECT SOLUTION to my problem! I will definitely use this service again!”
Ola-Help! serves as your “one-stop, personal assistant” to navigate the myriad of online resources - whether you are looking for someone to run errands, seniors who need help with online purchases, scheduling transportation to a doctor’s appointment, grocery shopping or food delivery.
“We’re a tele-concierge service that understands the difficulties of living in a predominantly online community platform,” says Dr. Raniga. “It can be tough to know who to trust, or which app to open.” My Mom used to say how nice it would be if she had an- other set of hands to get everything done, and now you do: just call up Ola-Help!