Meet Brian & His Papa Pal Kristin
Papa Pal Kristin helps Brian with errands, organization, and meal prep. Brian raves about the green bean casserole recipe she made for Christmas.
Grand Rapids resident, Kristin, had spent the 30 years of her career in retail. When laid off unexpectedly in early 2021, Kristin discovered Papa and knew she wanted to be part of a mission-driven organization aligned with her values. “I did a lot of soul searching. My passion is helping people, so I searched for a company that fits those parameters. I found Papa on social media and knew it was a company I wanted to join.”
Kristin shared, “The companionship we offer not only allows the members to feel good and appreciated, but I also feel good knowing I am making a difference in their lives. The members I visit and help still have their cognition, but their bodies have aged, preventing them from doing what they used to. I do the things for them that they cannot—errands, organizing, cooking—while we talk, spend time, and strengthen our social bond.”
When member Brian received info about Papa from his health plan, he thought, “I can use a service like that since I have health issues and cannot bend down and walk very well.” Brian has a Papa Pal visit him twice a week, and Pal Kristin is his favorite. “Kristin is so neat to talk to and goes above and beyond. My home feels so wonderful now that she is coming. I can’t wait to see Kristin every week.” Kristin takes Brian on errands, helps him around the house, and prepares meals for him. As Brian described, “She made my Christmas because she made me an amazing green bean casserole that I ate to celebrate. She did such a better job making it than I ever could!”
Kristin shared, “I’ve learned along the way on my journey as a Papa Pal that not everyone is as fortunate as I am, and it gives me perspective. Simple things like taking Brian to the store or a haircut make him happy. Members like Brian have truly become my friends, and I am invested in being a Papa Pal as long as possible.”
Meet Ronald, Papa Member
Ronald took up painting as a form of therapy after returning from the Vietnam War. Sharing his art and experiences with his Papa Pals has been healing.
Meet Bernie & His Papa Pal Marco
Bernie, a retired construction worker, looks forward to his weekly coffee and Spanish rock listening sessions with Marco, a local college student.