Norwegian immigrants to the United States, Jardar K. and Gudrun S. Aarsand were married in September 1934. Three of their four children parented six grandchildren and by 2004 the family has grown to include seven great-grandchildren. Although not a large family, over the past seven decades of living and working in America, the family has been blessed in this immigrant country and seeks to pass that blessing on to the less fortunate. This blessing has been realized through the creation of our family’s philanthropic foundation, in thanksgiving for the life of the late Knut J. Aarsand (1940~2002), who along with his wife Elaine Clark Aarsand, developed a vision for Family Philanthropy.

In 1983, Knut, along with his daughter Krista Aarsand Bedford, and his son Kurt R. Aarsand, founded what has become a very successful company in America’s “quick service” industry. In the mid 1990’s Knut proposed to his family his philanthropic vision. Now, in his memory and in celebration of all the Aarsand family’s blessings, our hope in creating this foundation is to pass on our blessings. It is our vision that the young people we assist will attain, by their own efforts and hard work, productive lives in this nation of ample and abundant opportunity.

Our mission:
The Aarsand Family Foundation is dedicated to directly helping adolescents committed to improving themselves through education and skill development; and helping organizations that assist young men and women achieve individualized self-improvement. The emphasis of the foundation’s work is to lift up, mentor, train, educate and monitor individuals who need the support that would otherwise be unavailable to them.