“Pay What You Want” Yard Work, Housework, Grocery Shopping, and More: How Creative College Students Serve a Community in Need
Twelve New Jersey students have joined forces this summer to operate Hopewell Helpers LLC, which matches area college students with at-risk populations in need of services like yard work, housework, child care, technology assistance, grocery shopping and delivery, trips to the pharmacy, and more.
The “pay what you want” model is based on founder Will Titus’s desire to help his community. Titus graduated from Hopewell Valley Central High School in 2019 and is currently a student at Williams College where he runs varsity cross country and track. He is also a member of the Williamstown Fire District and the Pennington First Aid Squad.
Hopewell Helpers was launched on June 9. Since then, the students have mowed lawns, assembled trampolines and treadmills, weeded gardens, lifted and moved items around the house, cleaned, helped residents with technology, and done plenty of grocery shopping.
“We went from zero to a hundred really quickly, and we’ve been learning how to best structure our organization to serve our clients along the way,” said Titus, who also notes that Hopewell Helpers has expanded to multiple counties in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
By using a “pay what you want” pricing model, Hopewell Helpers aims to include anyone and everyone who needs assistance. “It’s as simple as it sounds,” states Titus. “We don’t set prices or rates for what we do. The client pays us what he or she feels is fair after we get the job done.”
The student-run mindset of Hopewell Helpers is what makes it unique. “Hopewell Helpers is a way for students to find meaningful work through which they are directly benefiting those they help and earning money to put towards college,” said Titus. “It’s a win-win. Students serve their community with a combination of paid and volunteer work. For me, that’s a dream come true for a summer job.”