Katie & Friends was envisioned at the start of 2020, by Robert Stanek, who at the time was a chemistry Ph.D. student in his 6th year. His fiance and namesake of the charity, Kathryn Demski, enlisted him and a couple of friends to prepare a home-cooked dinner for the cancer patients and family members staying at the Cleveland ACS Hope Lodge. The staff of Hope Lodge wrote on their notice board that dinner was being hosted by “Katie & Friends” that night, and the name resonated with the group. Robert later talked to some local businesses about donating some food to the dinners they were creating, and found many were very willing to help out. The idea came up that it might be possible to act as a liaison between charities who could use support, and local businesses who have support to offer. A few months passed by and Hope Lodge was temporarily closed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, so Robert and Katie weren’t able to provide any more dinners. Robert spent some time talking about this idea with some friends and family and decided to try it out, as he had left the graduate program at the beginning of the year to pursue a new life path. From there, everything developed rapidly into what we now proudly call Katie & Friends, a charitable non-profit designed to connect regular people with the charitable causes they believe in.