My family joined hundreds of others who delivered Christmas meals to the area poor on Christmas morning. We've been doing it for years, and it appears more people are in need of some help this year than last. Combined, the South Side Mission prepared 1,508 meals that were taken to area homes by good-hearted volunteers.
This year's fine multi-course meal featured ham, a couple rolls, cranberries, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. Plus, each meal got a portion of the "worlds largest green bean casserole." One of my sons, my daughter and I delivered 26 meals to homes mainly in the South End. It didn't take long and it's always a reminder that we all have much to be grateful for.
But as the Christmas season begins to fade away, the need for help does not diminish. In December alone, the SSM served over 9,000 meals to poor folks in our area. And the SSM does much more than deliver food on the holidays. They run a homeless shelter for women and kids, run youth programs, distribute food through its pantries and train folks for employment with career training schools, like the chef school.
So the need for more contributions is not going away. Next big event for the SSM is the 13th annual "Dive For Cover," coming up on Friday afternoon, February 22, at the world headquarters of Maui Jim Sunglasses on Allen Road in Peoria. I'll once again check my senses at the door and take the plunge into the icy waters of the Maui Jim sunglass-shaped pond. You don't have to dive in to help out or contribute. Click on this link for more info.