He isolated himself with his wife, two children and five sisters in his home on the west side of greater Phoenix, and it seemed like the only thing he could do was hike. No one was allowed access to gyms or restaurants. Boredom began and it became harder for Amukamara to just sit around after his daily workout.
He and two of his sisters – Promise and Princess – brainstormed things to do, and the conversation revolved around working for food delivery apps. Why not, they thought? So each chose a different app to work for, and Prince raised the ante: a contest to see who could make the most money. Princess started working for Postmates, Promise started working for Instacart and Prince for DoorDash.
Winner gets praise.
“We come from a very competitive family,” said Promise, who plays professional basketball for French club Charnay. “But he was like, ‘Oh, I can make more money than you do this.'”
For the next six months in Arizona and Las Vegas, of which Amukamara was a member Raiders from May to August, he made more than 300 deliveries, working three to four days a week, usually three to five hours a day – but sometimes up to 10 hours a day. He planned the most efficient routes and knew the best times to make the most money. It started as a game, but it became a cause. The money each of them earned was earmarked for their other Foundation, whose mission “is to be an outpost of hope by providing help, service, and support to the needy” with causes that include raising money for cancer. children and to schools. .
He took it seriously – he treated it like football.
“You have to pay close attention to details,” Amukamara said. “And then also just being on the other side of it, just knowing that I, like when I order things, want them in a certain way.”
There were times when Prince would tell his wife, Pilar, to do a errand, but really he would turn on the app and deliver an order or two. Some days he would make a few deliveries; some days he had set a goal of $ 300 and delivered in 10 hours. Some days he would have his 4- and a 5-year-old with him; others – he estimated about 10 of them – he would jump to 6 p.m.
They, Pilar said, were a little out of control. She would ask where he was and Prince would explain that there were triple price increase zones that he wanted to take advantage of.
“He’s just cracking me up,” Pilar said. “In the end, I thought it was nice, but yes, I kept saying, like, ‘When are you going to finish this?'”
Amukamara could not stop DoorDashing. He even worked on June 1, Pilar’s birthday. But in the end, it was worth it to help the other Foundation, which he helped start in 2017.
“If we see that someone is dealing with any match time, the Other Foundation will be there for them and go through it with them,” he said. “So that’s why there are others.”
Amukamara has hosted football camps in Arizona and turkey drives in Chicago, but the foundation’s second annual high school youth conference for seniors in high school in Arizona was canceled this year due to the pandemic, so the influx of cash helped.
Every night, Amukamara and his sisters met again at home, sat around the table and shared their earnings. But Princess and Promise were always careful about how much Prince actually earned. They only let him count the money he earned through the app because they thought he might be going to the ATM and taking out a piece of cash to swing the last number in his favor.
“We know he’s a football player,” Promise said. “We did not think he was not recognized by these customers and he actually got tips from them. So it was just weird to understand our minds around, so someday we would not believe him.”
In the end, Price won. Amukamara estimated that he earned between $ 3,000 and $ 5,000. Sometime over the summer, DoorDash found out that Amukamara worked for the company and set up a campaign called #WhyIDash. The company then donated $ 25,000 to the Amukamara Fund.
“It’s huge,” Pilar said. “We are a new foundation. Prince has raised most of the money for the fund, so it was extremely helpful to get such a large lump sum. During the pandemic, it is quite difficult to raise money and you will not really ask people for money in a time like this, neither. So we both thought it was really cool and really encouraging. “
Ups and downs on delivery
Delivering was an ever-changing journey for Amukamara. The more he delivered, the more he learned.
Like not handing over the wrong food.
“I will not lie, there were times when I put drinks in my cup dispenser, or sometimes I would have two deliveries and I would deliver some and I am like, ‘Oh, shoot,'” Amukamara said. would run and I would be like, ‘Why do I have a Chick-file-A frost that has melted?’ “
Sometimes he ran back to hand it over or reimburse the customers. Once, Amukamara pulled into his driveway and found a meal in the back seat that he forgot to hand over.
Overall, though, Amukamara was pretty good at DoorDashing. He said his overall rating was 4.8 or 4.9 out of 5.0.
“You have to be on your Ps and Qs,” he said. “A lot of attention to detail.”
Amukamara quickly learned how to maneuver through flats, sometimes poorly lit late at night. Communication, he said, was key, so he did not have to wander through hallways looking for the right doors – sometimes to the point of frustration, the princess said.
Going to so many different homes was not a concern for Amukamara in the midst of the pandemic. DoorDash provided him with a mask, gloves and hand sanitizer.
“I was pretty confident in that regard,” he said.
While no one recognized Amukamara at their doors, he had two cases of people finding out who he was.
One was through the app, where his name was listed just like “Prince A.” At first he did not want to use his real name, but for tax reasons he had to. After a delivery, he received a text message via the app: “Oh, s —. Are you really Prince Amukamara?”
Amukamara sent him a selfie to confirm. But the customer’s response still makes him laugh: He said he should have left a bigger tip. Amukamara immediately took a screenshot and sent it to the group text along with her sisters. They could not stop laughing.
Sometimes Amukamara gave aliases like Bruno or Mr. Smith as he spoke to other DoorDashers. And some of those conversations showed him how far-reaching the pandemic had become. He would ask other DoorDashers why they DoorDashing. Some were fired and collected unemployment, or DoorDashing would be their second or third income.
They gave him tips like overcommunicating and making sure to use it for the warm-up bag.
“They were all happy,” Amukamara said. “It was a whole bunch of tips. It was like our own community. It was fun. It was like being part of a team.”
Make it worth it
DoorDashing did more than just spend time getting Amukamara out of the house. It helped Amukamara, who grew up in Glendale, Arizona, explore new parts of her home state, discover new restaurants, and learn one or two things about how and what people eat.
“I would say they eat often,” he laughed. “I would say some people are created out of habit because there were times where I delivered to the same place as twice.”
Amukamara, a nine-year veteran who has started games with New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears, has 10 career moves. He is currently on the Cardinals’ training team and has not yet been promoted to the active list this season.
Amukamara, who has earned nearly $ 46 million over the course of her career, has always stopped raising money for her charity at the helm. He once delivered to Sun City, an area west of the Phoenix metropolitan area that consists primarily of retirees. An elderly woman gave him a $ 10 cash tip. At first he felt bad about taking the woman’s money, but he remembered where the money went and accepted.
“A few bucks may not change our lives, it can 100 percent change the lives of others,” Pilar said. “When people are really low down, even a few bucks can make a difference. And while it may not make a difference, I think, most importantly, a few bucks can bring some hope, and that’s the hope that keeps people on it . “