Almost two years after derecho, Robinson continues to help and inspire

Bridgette Robinson stepped in to help after the 2020 derecho, and her acts of service haven't stopped.
Published: Jun. 5, 2022 at 11:02 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Bridgette Robinson’s kids want to take a trip to Florida this summer. She’s making them pay for it themselves.

”They’re doing landscaping, lawn care, raking, they’re actually cleaning up dog poop out of your yard,” Robinson said. “Anything that you don’t want to do at home, they’re willing to do.”

The Robinsons want to instill their traits of hard work and dedication down to their children. The couple went through tough times and never forgets that.

”Being homeless at one point, being jobless, just coming from the trenches, made a huge difference for us,” Robinson said. “Absolutely nothing in this world is given. So us being in positions and being in the lifestyle that we lived up until this point, has shown our kids the values that matter.”

After the derecho ripped through Cedar Rapids, Robinson set up Bridge Under the Bridge, a nonprofit that’s served a countless number of hot meals from a food truck to people in need, no questions asked.

“There was a gentleman that pulled up and he was in a brand new Audi truck, and he just, when we gave him the meal, he cried,” Robinson said. “We couldn’t understand why, so he left and came back a couple of minutes and told us that he had just got kicked out of his home by his wife. He lost everything, he lost his job, and just because he had a nice car didn’t mean he wasn’t in need. Because we didn’t ask questions, that just made him have that reassurance.”

Robinson originally set up her efforts under Interstate 380 along Eighth Avenue SW in Cedar Rapids, but complaints to the Iowa Department of Transportation forced them to move to The ROC Center on 10th Street SE earlier this year.

Robinson says that location didn’t work out, so right now the food truck is parked until they can find a new spot.”We just want to get back to what we know,” she said. “After doing something for two years, it’s the norm, so not being able to do that now, is not normal.”

Joe Sample, a Cedar Rapids man who gained fame through social media posts supporting local businesses during the pandemic, nominated Robinson for the Freedom Festival Tribute to Heroes recognition. He’s admired the Robinson family since he helped them pass out meals back in 2020.

“To see them and their seven kids work together for our community,” Sample said. “Regardless of color, race, poor rich, they’re doing it.”

Robinson is honored for the recognition, but she doesn’t do it for the attention.

“It’s about the need,” Robinson said. “It’s about no kid should go to bed without a meal.”

A need she can’t wait to get back to fulfilling.

If you are interested in hiring Robinson’s children to help them earn a trip to Florida, you can contact Bridgette at (319) 804-9009.

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