West Philly's "Grandma" recognized by National Guard for generosity during riots

Wednesday, June 10, 2020
West Philly's "Grandma" recognized by National Guard for generosity during riots
"She's the kind of neighbor that you would want to have." Community Journalist Matteo introduces us to this COVID-19 survivor and PA National Guard's new honorary grandmother.

WEST PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- She's always been known as a good neighbor, but the PA Army National Guard has simply dubbed her, "Grand Ma."

Shauna Robinson, 51, received a Certificate of Appreciation for her generosity during riots related to the death of George Floyd in late May.

Doing what grandmothers do best, she reached out and cared for members of the Charlie Company 1st and 111th infantry. Crabs, string beans and chicken wings were on the menu along with an endless supply of water bottles.

"I love helping people. It's just, it's in my nature," said Robinson.

However, just two months ago, she was unable to help anyone other than herself.

In mid-April, Robinson contracted COVID-19. Although her case was mild, her pre-existing asthma complications made it difficult to breathe.

After a one-day trip to the hospital and a 20-day quarantine, Robinson couldn't stand staying inside any longer.

But it was not safe to go outside.

52nd street, which she calls home, was victim to riots, looting, and civil unrest during the last few days of May. As a result, the PA Army National Guard was called in. That's when Robinson found a way to act on her recovery.

"She gave everyone a great warm welcoming to the city and made sure we knew she was Grandma," said PVT Moore, a Charlie Company 1st and 111th infantry soldier via text message.

"I am a Philly native so Grandma, I will be over for Thanksgiving," said Moore.

Apart from men and women in the National Guard, Robinson is the biological grandmother of a 2-year-old.

In a pre-COVID-19 world, she worked as a Supervisor for East Club Level for Philadelphia Eagles and a Supervisor for Starbucks at the Philadelphia International Airport. She is also an active member of Kingdom Worship Center Church, whose pastor awarded her with a special mask adorned with the words, "#ServantLeader."

It's a calling her faith informed her to act on. "It was nothing but me being me," she said.

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