Color this egg and show support for the clients and mission of Sophia’s Kitchen

Who says only children get to color Easter eggs?

To benefit Sophia’s Kitchen in downtown Peoria, people of all ages are invited to color or decorate the blank Easter egg (download it as a PDF here) and include a positive message for the clients of the meal program. They may be sent, along with a donation, to Sophia’s Kitchen, c/o Sacred Heart Church, 504 Fulton St., Peoria, IL 61602.

The fundraiser is meant to burnish a bottom line made “a little bit rusty” by COVID restrictions that forced Sophia’s Kitchen to cancel its fundraisers last year. They included St. Joseph’s Day in March, which would have been the program’s 10th anniversary at St. Joseph Church, 103 S. Richard Pryor Place, and Sophia Sunday in July.

Next weekend marks the one-year anniversary of when the sandwich program was asked to shut its doors temporarily in a statewide effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

People are asked to return their colorful Easter eggs by Holy Thursday, so they can be put into lunch bags for Sophia’s Kitchen clients during Easter Week.

Prior to the pandemic, schoolchildren would often color the bags in which the sandwiches and other items were placed before being handed out to clients, according to Claire Crone, program manager.

“Our clients absolutely loved those,” she said, adding that positive messages on the Easter eggs will make their day.

“I hear feedback from the clients all the time about how uplifted they feel,” Crone explained. “They know that it’s not just a meal that they’re getting. They know how much care we put into it and how much we respect them and pray for their well-being and want to make sure that not just their tummies are being taken care of but their spiritual lives, too. We want to give that encouragement to them.”

People are asked to return their colorful Easter eggs by Holy Thursday, so they can be put into lunch bags for Sophia’s Kitchen clients during Easter Week.

“What better way to share the Easter message than on the Easter eggs,” Crone said.

Donations received will help to purchase the supplies needed to prepare and hand out the lunches. And while it may not be “glamorous,” the building and equipment are starting to show signs of age after 11 years. Crone said the stove, refrigerator and freezer have all needed repair.

Things are a bit slower at Sophia’s Kitchen these days since the elderly and handicapped continue to stay at home as a safeguard against COVID-19. Volunteers are still serving between 250 and 300 lunches each weekday, however, Crone said.

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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