By Dylan Deprey
The Lee’s were ready to do their Easter big. It was just as they always did. New outfits for church and an expensive dinner with the family.
As social distancing and the governor’s at-home-order set in, Rita Lee’s after school program for New Hope Family Services closed, and Donald Lee’s orders for Big Daddy’s BBQ and Soulfood came to a standstill.
While their passions came to a halt, so did their Easter plans—kind of.
“We decided that if we couldn’t go to church or to dinner, we might as well spend the money on people who needed it the most,” Rita Lee said.
Outside of her non-profit work, Rita Lee has worked with the elderly on a daily basis, and knew she had to spread some joy during the holiday.
“A lot of them were living alone, or didn’t have visitors that come in, so for them to pay the extra for a special dinner or to make it themselves was out of the question,” Rita Lee said.
New Hope Family Services and Big Daddy’s BBQ and Soulfood will provide free Easter dinners for the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Donald Lee will put his chef hat back on for the day to cook a full-course Easter dinner. The menu includes: a choice of chicken or ham, mashed potatoes, string beans, corn, a roll and assorted desserts.
“My husband loves to cook, so it’s right up his alley,” she said.
After she initially put the word out, several organizations and community members decided to give back.
Parklawn Assembly of God Church will help deliver the dinners, while practicing social distancing, and Milwaukee Rescue Mission will be providing hygiene packs and small Easter baskets.
As of April 5, 42 elderly and disabled have been registered, and they are looking to serve around 100. Community members can reach out until April 9 to nominate an elderly or disabled community member.
They are also taking cards, pictures and anything encouraging to add to the baskets.
“We just want to do something helpful and fun for them, especially during this time,” Rita Lee said.
All Donations can be dropped off on April 11 from noon to 3 p.m. at 3248 W Brown St. Milwaukee, WI 53209. Call 414-459-1934 or visit https://www.facebook.com/newhopeyouthandfamilyservices/ for more information.