Sophia's Kitchen spreads hope throughout the community

PEORIA, Il - It's been more than a decade since Sophia Donald tragically died at the age of three. Described by loved ones as spunky and filled with happiness, her family thinks about her every day.

But this weekend, her memory is front and center. An annual fundraiser is filling up the Peoria kitchen with family and friends hoping to spread the smile Sophia brought them.

“Sophia was someone who gave to the world things that we'll never know and continue to till this day", said Lisa Preston, Sophia’s aunt.

After her death, Sophia's parents looked to  ease their grief by making sure the river city's hungry and homeless are nourished -- body and soul. They opened Sophia's Kitchen, as a place to help spread their daughters joy.

“Having the spirit of Sophia in the kitchen is just priceless to us,” said Claire Crone program director. She adds, “Its a sense of joy that happens in the kitchen and the knowledge that we are able to continue her memory.” 

In honor of Sophia's 15th birthday next week, Sophia Sunday is raising money necessary to continue the daily operation of the kitchen.

"We like to keep that spirit here, as place that is completely filled with happiness everyday,” Crone adds.  “We’re not focused on the sadness or poverty, but more on what people can do and how we can help them become the best people that they can become to me."

Serving more than 200 Peorians daily, Church Pastor Monsignor Stanley L. Deptula  says this kitchen is a community staple.

“This event is really a beautiful way to see gods love transform grief into service."

For more information, you can visit here or here

 


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