How Much Do Papa Pals Make? Before COVID-19 created a global pandemic, there was already an epidemic in the United States. It was an epidemic of loneliness.
Harvard researchers spent time learning about the issue and found that college-age kids were impacted more than any other age group. It wasn’t just a matter of having buddies to hang out with – it was more of an existential sense that deep connections were few and far between.
Meanwhile, the nation’s elderly population – while not quite as lonely as young adults, according to the data – had its own set of challenges. Extended family networks within the local community have become rare, making social support harder to come by. For the elderly population, loneliness was exacerbated by the transition to digital communication. Those that weren’t able to fully embrace social media and mobile devices were left behind.
Loneliness Epidemic Created A Market For JoinPapa
The 2020 pandemic took an issue that was beginning to create concern and blew it up into a national health crisis. Social distancing, stay-at-home orders, and sheltering-in-place upended tenuous social connections and made loneliness the default for almost everyone.
Papa started working to combat loneliness among young adults and seniors in 2017 when founder and CEO Andrew Parker saw a need in his own family. He soon realized scaling up his solution could transform the social experience for both young adults and seniors nationwide.
His plan fit right in with the growing gig economy, and he was in the right place at the right time with the right tools to combat pandemic-related isolation.
Today, Papa has clients in all 50 states, and its menu of services is expanding. That brings up important questions for potential Papa Pals, like how does JoinPapa work? Is JoinPapa legit? How much do Papa Pals make?
What Is JoinPapa?
JoinPapa might be best understood through its original tagline: Grandkids on demand. The company pairs young adults with seniors in search of assistance with everything from basic errands to companionship.
Papa Pals might take their adopted grandparents to appointments or do their grocery shopping. Sometimes, it’s as simple as spending time together playing cards or watching a movie.
With the challenges presented by COVID-19, Papa rolled out virtual companionship services. Once a Pal has helped the client connect with the necessary technology, visits are virtual – a chance to chat and enjoy each other’s company.
How Does JoinPapa Work?
Those who are interested in becoming a Papa Pal can apply right online through the Papa website. The application begins with a few simple questions, then dives into a more intensive interview intended to better understand whether applicants are able to successfully provide helpful service and companionship.
Technical qualifications include watching and reading training materials, then demonstrating understanding, as well as a basic familiarity with commonly used technology – video conferencing, mobile devices, and similar. Those who plan to offer on-site visits must have a valid driver’s license and vehicle insurance. Photos of the interior and exterior of the vehicle are also required.
Background checks are part of the JoinPapa application process, and a drug test is required in certain states. Finally, applicants must be available at least four days a week for visits to qualify for the gig.
Do You Have To Be a College Student To Be a Papa Pal?
Once upon a time, only college students were eligible to become Papa Pals. As Papa rolled out, the theory was that college students had more flexibility, and there were important mutual benefits to connecting them with senior mentors.
However, that requirement has changed in the past year. Now that the service is available in all 50 states, features are expanding, and its client list is growing, the need for Papa Pals has increased.
More seniors have expressed interest in virtual or in-person companionship, given the isolation of the pandemic, so the opportunity has been opened up to anyone who meets the remaining eligibility criteria. Papa is now focused on a mission of “Family on-demand,” versus its original “Grandkids on-demand.”
How Much Do Papa Pals Make?
Papa tells applicants that the average rate of pay for its Pals comes out to approximately $15 per hour.
It’s important to note that like other gig work, how much you make depends on a variety of factors. For example, Papa does pay mileage, but that doesn’t always cover the time and expense of a long commute for a short visit. Maximizing income requires Pals to weigh the return on each assignment.
Papa Pals can participate in a variety of incentive programs that are designed to reward the most active Pals. For example, recent opportunities to boost income included an extra $20 for completing five visits in a week and $50 for working more than 15 hours in a week.
Papa Pals have shared the details of their experience with the company on sites like Facebook and Glassdoor.com, and the JoinPapa reviews are somewhat mixed. Pals are near-unanimous in their feedback that when they get to connect with clients, it is exceptionally rewarding. However, most indicate that the pay doesn’t quite measure up for the work they do.
Many Papa Pals reviews mention struggling with logistical issues, like system glitches, difficulty reaching a representative for problem resolution, and similar. These are signs that the company might be growing at such a rapid rate that it is not quite on top of these details.
How Much Money Has JoinPapa Raised?
As of April 2021, Papa is on its Series C round of fundraising, and it has amassed a total of $91.2 million since its launch.
It has 13 total investors, most of whom got involved during the September 2020 Series B round. Some of these include Comcast Ventures, Pivotal Ventures, Sound Ventures, and Magnify Ventures. The majority of Series C funds came from Tiger Global Management.
How Do I Join Papa?
If you are ready to join Papa, start on the company’s website. You will begin with eight quick getting-to-know-you questions, and then you will review the Pal handbook and training videos.
An eight-question quiz follows the training, and you are expected to demonstrate your understanding of the material. If you get through that portion of the application process, it is on to document verification.
Applicants interested in on-site visits submit their driver’s license, vehicle insurance information, and photos of the interior and exterior. Those who won’t be using a vehicle or won’t be doing in-person visits at all can just submit their state-issued ID.
The final step is a background check. As soon as that clears, you can get started. You download the Papa app, accept appointments, and begin working right away.
Is JoinPapa Legit?
The bottom line is yes, JoinPapa is legit.
Many clients describe helpful Papa Pals that support them through difficult periods by handling errands and offering a bit of companionship.
Clients’ families talk about the peace of mind that comes with JoinPapa. After all, it’s difficult to do everything for aging loved ones while also managing their own homes and jobs. Papa Pals fill in some of the gaps, so families can be confident that their loved ones’ needs are being met.
Finally, Papa Pals appreciate the opportunity to make a bit of cash while doing something rewarding with their extra time. They often describe the satisfaction they feel knowing they made a difference in someone’s life.
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