P.E.O. Rehoboth chapter provides meals for Code Purple guests

April 4, 2021

Many people have been growing restless during the long months of COVID-19 restrictions.

Lewes resident Deb Norton looked for ways to positively channel her energy. She volunteers twice weekly at the New Life Thrift Store and moderates the board of deacons at her church. She is also a charter member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization in Rehoboth Beach, Chapter N. P.E.O. is a sisterhood founded in 1869 to celebrate the advancement of women, to provide financial support for women’s education, and to motivate women to achieve their highest aspirations.

The inability to interact personally with others due to COVID had prevented Norton and her P.E.O. sisters from reaching out into the community in meaningful ways. Group activities having to be done electronically did not bring the same sense of cohesiveness, sharing and accomplishment. Norton deeply wanted to help re-establish pride in an achieved goal within Chapter N.

From contacts at her church, Westminster Presbyterian, Norton learned of the Code Purple project operated by Love Inc. of Southern Delmarva. This opportunity to support the hungry homeless spurred her into action, and she brought up the idea of participating with the project during Chapter N’s December 2020 virtual meeting.  Attending members readily agreed, and members decided they would accept the responsibility of providing Sunday evening meals for the Code Purple shelter at the former Delaware State Police Troop 7 building during January, February and March, a total of 12 nights.

Each Sunday’s meals were prepared and delivered by individual sisters, with help from those within their own bubbles. The entire chapter working toward a shared achievement lifted everyone’s spirits and helped re-establish a community connection that had been frayed by a virus.

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