It has always been possible to run errands for money. All you had to do was make it known that you would do so, and then wait for the occasional job. That's the problem; the jobs are not easy to get with any consistency. That may be changing now, thanks to online services that find the customers for you.
For example, there is TaskRabbit.com, founded by Leah Busque. They are considered by some to be the first service-networking platform, although there are others online now. They help people get various tasks done and help those who want to make some money connect with those potential customers.
From a recent article on NBCLosAngeles.com;
"So if you need dry cleaning pickup, groceries delivered, a seamstress in your neighborhood, you can connect with them right on Task Rabbit," said site founder, Leah Busque, 31.
"We have full-time Task Rabbits that are cashing out at $5,000 a month," Busque said.
The former IBM software engineer began Task Rabbit during the heart of the recession in 2008.
Task Rabbit was looking for "rabbits" in the following cities as of December 2011:
LA & OC
New York City
SF Bay Area
They plan to expand across the country, so it may be worth checking to see if there are any openings in your area. Your application does not guarantee you can use this platform however. Once your application is accepted you will have a video interview (for which you will need access to a webcam and microphone). Then there is a background check and an online training program. They obviously hope to have quality task rabbits for their customers.
You will also be reviewed and that will affect your ability to get future assignments. Customers choose from among the task rabbits who bid on an errand or other task (they are posted on the site by customers). Examples on the site include $105 for moving help, $45 for some office help, and $20 for picking up and dropping off someone. They say on the site, "Most Tasks are completed for $20-$30."
There are other sites that will help you run errands for money, but this seems to be the most developed at the moment.