Peoria, IL,” David Davila Photography

December 7, 2020; WMBD-TV (CI Proud)

Never let a good crisis go to waste.

NPQ has been following some of the more innovative fundraising ideas that have arisen from the souls of nonprofits amid the pandemic, and this is one of those that appears to be fully recyclable and movable.

If you lived in Peoria, Illinois, you could participate in 12 Days of Carryout, which is being facilitated by the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (Discover Peoria) and ArtsPartners of Central Illinois. It starts tomorrow, runs through December 21, and is designed to support local restaurants, support local nonprofits, and create arts moments that can be enjoyed community-wide, all at once.

In other words, it is a community celebration Pandemic style that encourages support of local institutions. The celebration launches on Thursday, and, in some cases, restaurants, nonprofits and arts events are linked together for a whole evening’s enjoyment. MacKenzie Taylor, executive director of Discover Peoria, lays some of these out:

  • On Friday, December 11, order carry-out from Thyme and join the Peoria Ballet with Central Illinois’ favorite holiday tradition, The Nutcracker, performed by the Peoria Ballet. The cost to stream the performance is $20.
  • On Saturday, December 12, grab your carry-out from Industry Brewing Company and watch the Corn Stock Theatre production of Curtain Call. It will be an evening of music, dance, poetry, and more. The cost is $20-$25.
  • On Saturday, December 19, order carry-out from Rhythm Kitchen Music Cafe and then join the special televised performance of the concert A Season of Hope by the Peoria Symphony Orchestra at 8 pm on WTVP Create 47.4.

In general, the nonprofits paired with restaurants get 20 percent of the proceeds from any patron identifying themselves as participants in the campaign.

Again, this idea has a set of ingredients that reflect the purposes of the sponsoring organizations to a “T” while providing a whole-body kind of feel-good experience during holidays that might be even more stressful than usual.—Ruth McCambridge