Awesome Foundation Grant Award Winner: Life Care Unites Foundation

Written by: Brandi Malarkey

In January 2021, the Robinson family (Katrina, Jeremy, and their four children: Asia, Scott, Bryce, and India) created the Life Care Unites Foundation as a way to give back to the community. With the assistance of Chisom Housing and The Arbors at McCormick Park they were able to set up a Relief Shopping and Hot Meal program to help provide for the growing number of community members who needed help but didn’t qualify for assistance. The Robinsons are still working as a family three years later as they embark on the next phase of their community outreach with new locations and new partners: ROOTS Hair & Soul and the Church of God’s Word.


What has caused the new changes?

Katrina: Our move from The Arbors is simply to respect a policy change—no community events outside of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. So much of what we do works best outside of those times. The Arbors was a great partnership, and we wanted to respect everything they did for us, and just regroup and look at it as a chance to branch out, make new partnerships, and try new things. So that’s what we’ve done.

What has the Life Care Unites Foundation provided, and what changes are you looking at now?

Asia: What we do is run a free relief store—we’ll have a few more now— where people can come and get free clothing items and hygiene kits a few times a month. Sometimes we try to have little pop-up things where we can create hot meals for people from the community. It’s kind of first come first serve. Or sometimes we’ll deliver, too.

Brice: We have limits on a few things, but mostly people take what they need. They can still get a lot of what they need, and then they’re really happy. And now we will have two relief shops, maybe three.

Scott: I’m kind of the junior chef for the pop-ups. We planned the meals for the two years that we did. With new places, we’ll probably get settled before we decide how to go from there, if we still can do that.

Jeremy: Previously we had one big community partner day, but with new partners, we have the opportunity to start having separate, smaller ones so we can make an impact in different locations instead of just one. Our first will be with ROOTS Hair & Soul on Sunday, May 19. We just opened for business with them on April 15, so it will kind of celebrate that. The other will be with the Church of God’s Word on Friday, July 12. Both have been wonderful to partner with, and we are looking to possibly expand into Moorhead later this year.

As new 2024 site partners, what drew you to Life Care Unites Foundation’s Relief Shop?

Pastor Carla Buchholz (Church of God’s Word): We’re very excited to help them. They first joined us on the third Saturday of February. They came on our food pantry weekend and we had a table set up so that they could sit and have people get what they had for them, and talk with people and tell them about what they do. We have a full food pantry and a clothing room, but we keep them separate so they have a better way of tracking. People are really curious and interested in finding out about them, and really happy at the idea of getting things like laundry soap to make sure that they have clean clothes. I just know it’s going to get bigger and better for both of us and we’re excited to let people know that they are available.

Brenna Fisher (co-owner of ROOTS Hair & Soul): I met them at Juneteenth a few years back, saw the mission that they were trying to execute, and felt it was something really good and strong that our community needs so I was always looking for a way that I could contribute.

When they wanted a new spot, I thought I might have one. They came and looked and agreed, and I feel like it’s going to be a great little site location for the area we’re in. I’m just excited and happy to help wherever I can. I can see the great things they’re doing, and I feel like if we all partner together, and if other people have resources to contribute and add to what they have going on, it doesn’t have to stop at one or two locations— we can make it bigger. I feel like we can just demonstrate how the community can come together, more people will do what they can for their communities, too.

How do you feel about all the new opportunities?

India: I’m proud of how far we’ve gotten. When we first moved up here, a lot of people in the community helped us, and now we’re spreading our joy around. I’m just glad to see all the progress we’ve made and all the things that we’ve accomplished. And I love the joy of seeing people’s smiles when we get to help them.

The Life Care Unites Foundation was named the March 2024 grantee of the Cass Clay chapter of the Awesome Foundation to assist with costs related to setting up new locations.

The Cass-Clay chapter of the Awesome Foundation awards a $1,000 gift each month for awesome ideas of all sorts. Grant recipients do not need to be associated with a nonprofit. Applications can be made at awesomefoundation.org/en/ chapters/cassclay.

Katrina Robinson
[email protected]
817-264-1398
lifecareunites.org
Facebook | /LCUFoundation

ROOTS Hair & Soul

2108 S University Dr, Fargo
701-532-2036

Church of God’s Word
227 Main Ave W, West Fargo
701-639-6240 div style=”position:relative;padding-top:max(60%,326px);height:0;width:100%”>

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