We had the good fortune of connecting with Elizabeth Watkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elizabeth, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'” When I came across this quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. several years ago, it stopped me in my tracks. I was struck by the tone of the question, the extreme importance Dr. King placed on helping others. I wanted to wake up every day knowing that I could answer his question with confidence. With Dr. King’s call to action in mind, I started the nonprofit Refresh Frisco in 2019. I work alongside our board and volunteers each day to ensure that every child in our community has access to personal hygiene items.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Refresh Frisco is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2019. Our mission is to ensure every child in our community has access to personal hygiene items. We accomplish this mission by providing children with quarterly Refresh Packs filled with essential hygiene products. We know that proper hygiene promotes better health and prevents illness, infections, and rashes from spreading. Good personal hygiene also increases self-confidence and helps children feel positive about themselves and their appearance. Our Refresh Packs are customized by age and gender preference and we also offer ethnic hair products. Our elementary pack includes shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss. two bars of soap, lotion, comb/hairbrush and lip balm. Our middle and high school students also receive deodorant, shaving cream and a 3-month supply of feminine hygiene products for the female students. We include a handwritten message of encouragement in each pack called a Refresh Card. These cards are made with love by local teens. We also add seasonal items such as hand sanitizer and sunscreen to our Refresh Packs each quarter. Last year we distributed over 1000 washable, cloth, face masks to students. These masks were handmade and generously donated by members of our community. We have grown very rapidly over the past year. We are currently serving 750 students on a quarterly basis with new families enrolling daily. Since the onset of COVID-19, enrollment in our program has tripled. When the pandemic began, our bulk distributers halted online ordering, hygiene product drives were canceled due to the lockdown and store shelves were lacking necessary hygiene items. We reacted quickly and adapted to these unforeseen changes in order to meet rising demand. We set up an online donation system through Amazon and promoted our contactless porch donation drop-offs. We are proud to say that thanks to the support and generosity of our community we have been able to serve every enrolled child. Our nonprofit does not have any paid employees. Every individual volunteering with Refresh Frisco does so because they believe in our mission. We are grateful for the opportunity to give back to our community by helping kids feel clean and confident.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
DFW is an exciting community with so much to do and explore! We would definitely have to catch a Rangers game at Globe Life Field in Arlington, I am a huge baseball fan and can’t wait to visit the new stadium. Closer to home we would start the day with a delicious breakfast at Barney’s Brunch House in Frisco. We would relax and soak up the sunshine at the rooftop pool and bar located in the Omni Frisco Hotel at The Star. I love talking walks and watching the sunset on the Tribute Shoreline Nature Trail in The Colony. This would be a must after all the wonderful food we plan to sample during this visit! Finally, we would finish our day with dinner at my favorite Frisco restaurant, TruFire. Their naked avocado salad and blackberry smash signature cocktail are the perfect ending to any day. We love the arts so our week would include seeing a musical or concert. One of my favorite venues is the beautiful AT&T Performing Arts Center. We would pop in to Ellie’s Restaurant inside the HALL Arts Hotel for a bite to eat before or after the show. The hotel’s artwork and ambience are so inviting. The Dallas Museum of Art has some exciting exhibitions coming up that I can’t wait to enjoy. We would also visit Reunion Tower to take in the beautiful views of the Dallas skyline at night. We would spend a whole day in Downtown McKinney shopping and eating. The visit would not be complete without taking home a freshly baked pie from Emporium Pies. My favorite is their deep dish apple pie, aptly named “Lord of the Pies”. We would also include a relaxing afternoon walking among the spring tulips at the Dallas Arboretum. Spring is one of my favorite times to enjoy the outdoors in Texas.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my shout out to the Refresh Frisco board and to our wonderful community that has supported our efforts through donations and volunteering.