Meet Sara & Michelle: Friends to Animals and Each Other

Meet Sara and Michelle, pals who connected over their love for animals, Caribbean music, and conversation.

Meet Sara and her Papa Pal Michelle

Sara is an animal lover with two pets—a cat and a dog—who are both two years old. It’s nice to have human companionship too, though, so when she found out she qualified for a Papa Pal, she was really excited.

Michelle had been a caretaker for a friend of the family for four years. When the friend passed away, Michelle knew she wanted to keep taking care of people. That’s when she found Papa. She loves the challenges and the interesting people she meets. “It fulfills my day and makes me happy,” she says. 

Sara describes Michelle as “selfless and kind” and Michelle says they “clicked right away like we’d known each other forever.” 

Sara has a high level of fatigue and can’t keep up with household tasks like she used to, so Michelle steps in and helps out—and makes it fun. They do dishes together and listen to Caribbean music, pretending they’re on a cruise. It’s not all cleaning and chores though. “Sometimes we just get to sit around and be friends,” Sara says with a smile. “When she leaves, I feel good knowing I have a friend.”

The feeling is mutual. “On days when I don’t want to get out of bed,” Michelle says, “and I know it’s a Sara day, I’m up and at ‘em and ready to go. I just love seeing her face. She’s always so happy—and her animals are too.” She laughs and adds, “Well, I took her cat to get neutered, so the cat’s not too crazy about me, but the dog is always happy to see me.”

Sara has been touched by Michelle’s giving spirit, especially during a time when things are tight for a lot of people financially. She has bought cleaning supplies for Sara when she needed them and even bought her a Halloween costume (a clown!) last year. But beyond those physical gifts, Michelle has also been so generous in offering her listening ear whenever Sara needs her. Sara says Michelle makes her feel safe, like she won’t judge her, and she can share exactly what’s on her mind and heart. 

Michelle has learned a lot from Sara. One thing in particular that stands out is Sara’s street smarts. “She’s taught me how to actually be safe on the street when I’m walking to my car.” And when Michelle has questions about various topics, “Sara comes up with answers just like that. She’s so quick.”

Getting to do an interview together was really special to both of them. “Hearing what Michelle has said is really uplifting,” Sara says, “and I’m going to carry that with me.”

“Even with all the cruelty going on all around us,” Michelle says, “Sara lets me know that there’s still kindness in the world.”