The Shop-In Service 


Can't Get Out to the Store?

by Karen DeLisle - Hunterdon
Democrat Newspaper

October '98 edition

One of its founders, Glenn Geng, compares The Shop-In Service to "The Miracle on 34th Street." "If we don't have it, we'll find somebody who does," he said. But one of its clients, Leanna Bell, has even more to say. They are very compassionate and caring and have a very personal tone. Said the Milford resident, Bell, who has a progressive eye disease which has left her sightless, said she learned of the company five months ago through the Easter Seals Society and thinks "It is wonderful even for someone who is not disabled."

The Shop-In Service, which had its inception two years ago, initially was planned as a way to help women who are confined to bed with complications during pregnancy. "But it has exploded throughout the medical and challenged communities," Geng said.

He said when his wife, Lisa, was restricted to partial bedrest during her second pregnancy, she began to research shopping services. She began to feel like a nuisance accepting the continuous help offered by neighbors, family and friends.

She found what was out there to be limited, impracticable and expensive. Out of her need, she and her husband started a service that offers clients what has grown to more than 50,000 items - from every day household and personal needs to appliances and furniture and apparel over the phone. Representatives such as Donna Pezik and Terry Edwards, both of Hunterdon County, telephone their clients to collect their shopping lists. This is what Bell likes best about the service.

Lisa even described the personalities of the representatives to make sure we had a good match, she said.

She said she requested Pezik because she also has a disability: "I thought Donna would better understand."

She added the two have become good friends since their paring almost five months ago. The company works entirely over the phone. A representative calls to see if a client is low on toothpaste or soap, explained Pezik, or just chat to see what the client's preferences are.

Pezik is a registered nurse who had to stop nursing because of health problems. She has been a representative for six months. "It fulfills my need to help people," she said. Adding, the service also gives people their independence back.

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