Article by Elena Ferrarin Updated12/24/2020 5:35 PM dailyherald.com
A Palatine mom found a way to support local restaurants and first responders by asking people for donations to pay for meals for police officers and firefighters.
Sylvia Chong said she was inspired by a post on the Palatine Mom’s Club Facebook page asking to support a local eatery, Briana’s Restaurant & Pancake House.
“I commented on her post saying, if anybody wants to get some money together, we can buy food from Briana’s and we can donate it to the fire department or police department,” she said. “A lot of the moms said, ‘Yeah, that’s a good idea.'”
Chong said she figured she’d get enough for a few meals. Then someone suggested she post on the Everything Palatine Facebook page — and things blew up, she said. “The donations kept coming,” she said.
Donations totaled $1,620 by Wednesday, she said, adding she keeps careful track with an Excel spreadsheet. The money has helped fund three meal deliveries to the Palatine police station last week and to all five Palatine fire stations this week, she said.
Chong, who works as an executive assistant for an electronics recycling company, said she did all the pickup and delivery last week with her two sons in tow — Caleb, 18 months, and Micah, who turned 4 Saturday. Her husband David, who had to work last week, helped this week, as did three residents she met via Facebook, she said.
The Palatine Police and Fire Benevolent Association posted on Facebook thanking Chong for coordinating the meal donations.
The meals came from eateries Briana’s, Donkey Inn, Chiggy’s Gyros, and JL’s Pizza & Sports Bar, all in Palatine. Tap House Grill in Palatine donated meals Wednesday, JL’s Pizza donated a portion last week, and a local Jewel-Osco and Concorde Banquets in Kildeer planned to do the same for upcoming orders, Chong said.
Chong said she’s happy to have sparked support for local restaurants hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for first responders. “Particularly the police department … all around America, police have been getting a lot of negative attention, especially this year. I did feel for them,” she said.
The initiative also was a chance to teach her older son what the Christmas spirit is all about, she said. “I really wanted him to see there is much more to it than just getting gifts and having cookies.”