Meet Doris & Robin: Pals who Push Each Other

Meet Doris and Robin, a Papa member and Papa Pal duo who have pushed each other to do things that they never thought they could do.

Doris is an animal lover who grew up riding horses, went to art school, then worked as a cosmetologist for 20 years before she retired. Now she spends most of her days at home without any family or friends close by.

Robin is a retired nurse with four kids, several grandkids, and a second great-grandkid on the way. She loves being a Papa Pal.

Doris had been having a hard time keeping her house clean, and when she’d go out, she would often struggle getting her wheelchair in and out of the car. She had been trying for a couple years to get help from her insurance or the state, so when she found out she qualified for a Papa Pal, “it was a blessing.” 

“Now I have somebody to help me go to my appointments,” she says. “I’ve got somebody to help me clean my house. I’ve got somebody to talk to. It just took so much pressure off my shoulders.” She went through five other people before Robin “who were all great, but they weren’t Robin. I don’t want anybody else,” Doris says.

Doris was Robin’s first visit as a Papa Pal and says her relationship with Doris means a great deal to her. “We’ve done a few things off the clock,” she says, “and we’ve done a lot of crazy things on the clock. She’s a lot of fun. I really enjoy encouraging her to get stuff done that she needs to get done, but there are some days both of us go, ‘Yep, movies!’ and that’s what we do.”

What kind of wild things have they done? They’ve gone down to the waterfront in Tacoma, packed snacks, and watched boats. They watch the Seahawks together—or text about the game when they’re apart. They’ve downsized Doris’s apartment and Robin stood up to Doris’s landlord and got her some things she needed. And she introduced Doris to the Dollar Store. Hobby Lobby is next on their list. 

One thing Doris loves about Robin is that she’s always giving her that extra push. To Doris, that means she really cares. On good days and bad days, Robin never gives up on her. Doris loves finally having someone who cares about her enough to go the extra mile. “It’s just lightened up so much of my load,” she says. “I’m finally feeling like myself again.”

“I love her to death,” Robin says. “She’s like a really good friend to me.” She admires Doris’s dedication when things are tough and is really proud of her. “Being a Papa Pal has brought joy back into my life,” Robin says. “It has given me something to go out and do instead of laying in bed and wasting my life away.”

Doris echoes that sentiment. “Papa has kind of saved me,” she says. “I was drowning. I’m just one of those people who needs a kick start, and then another one. I can’t do it on my own. I need somebody. I’ve never had somebody that could just come over and watch TV. This is all new to me, and I’m very thankful to Papa—and Robin.”