Robin Grove won’t be around for the opening of a clothing pantry named after her, but she will be there in spirit.
Robin’s Closet, which will be housed in the basement of Mount Zion General Baptist Church, is the brainchild of Grove, who died March 21 at the age of 50 after a yearlong bout with cancer.
Shortly before learning that her days were numbered, she shared her dream of opening the pantry. Members of her church graciously embraced Grove’s desire to launch the clothing mission. Much like they did last year when Debbie Reynolds, Bill Crosley and Jack Imel wanted to start a food panty, which now serves about 40 people monthly.
Grove’s inspiration for Robin’s Closet stemmed from reading Matthew 25:35-40, which partially reads: “Naked, and ye clothed me: … When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Grove’s push to get the pantry open was fervent until the end. “I want to get it open, but I don’t know if I can do it,” she told Darolina “Dara” DeBurger, a dear friend of Grove’s mother, Shirley Roland.
“I told Robin that no matter what happens, it is going to open,” DeBurger said. “We might make a few mistakes, but it will be fabulous. This is your legacy.”
And true to her words, DeBurger is seeing Grove’s dream to fruition. “We are getting there. The room has been painted; the carpeting has been laid and the shelves have been installed. We are just waiting on the racks (they are being made). We just don’t have a definite opening date, but it will be soon. We have some great volunteers; Penny and Virt McGowan, April Stephens, Wayne Cogsdill and my husband, Mike, have been wonderful.
“We have already received many donations. Clothing is being dropped off at the church and even at my front door. We haven’t been through everything, but I have seen some nice stuff. We will be a good resource for people who have been burned out of their homes. And if someone needs a nice outfit to wear to an interview but can’t afford one, they can call me at (317)625-6648 to see if we have anything suitable.”
Coats, shoes, purses, gently used clothing, hangars and new underwear and socks can be dropped off at the church, 3565 S. Keystone Ave., but donors should call DeBurger to arrange appointments.
Some of Grove’s clothes – eight bags and counting – have been donated to the cause by her daughter, Krista Robert, who attends IUPUI and works part time at Chase Bank.
“Krista has really taken an active role in the clothing pantry,” said Roland, her grandmother. “She is going through all of her mom’s clothes.”
Grove also left behind two sons, Dillon Grove and Brandon Roberts. The children, whose father, Randy Robert, died several years ago, are living with Roland.
Roland, who sells dog harnesses and collars, some plus size clothes and baseball caps at the Emporium Beech Grove to make a little money to help pay the bills, said she is really excited about the pantry.
Robin Hollis, who owns the shop, has donated booth space so that people affiliated with the pantry can sell clothing to benefit Robin’s Closet. “We will use that money to buy new underwear and socks,” boasted DeBurger.
“The response to Robin’s Closet has been terrific, and I’m glad to be a part of it,” Roland said. “It’s a fitting tribute to a woman who was a beautiful person inside and out.”
You can download this issue of TheSouthsiderVoice in PDF format via the following:
This story is also featured on the newspaper’s Blog:
We really do have some great volunteers and sincerely apologize to any and all those folks that work so hard yet whose names were omitted from the original story. If we were to offer an edit to the above article we would enhance the list of volunteers to read as follows: Penny and Virt McGowan, April Stephens, Wayne Cogdill, Judy Thomas, Claudia Grove, Tori Golder, Mary Lambert, Shelby Apple, Billy Crosley, Gabby Stephens, Dougie & Malachi and Mike DeBurger. Of course there are many in our congregation and community who have offered their support through their donations of cash and clothing and they are no less recognized and appreciated.
May God continue to bless the efforts of Mt Zion General Baptist Church as they continue to make a positive impact on the south-side of Indianapolis, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.