Sometimes the slightly-off-the-wall ideas work the best.
Cooks With Collars was conceived as a creative way to have a little fun, and to raise a little money for parish and diocesan ministries.
It has turned into a major fundraiser for parishes around the Diocese, and for Catholic Charities and its work to help the needy in Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties.
The priests who put on their aprons and made cooking videos in their rectory or parish kitchens have garnered thousands of views on the website, www.CooksWithCollars.com, and on YouTube.
The 27 parishes that participated have benefited from more than 1,000 donations, large and small, for a total (so far) of more than $86,000.
Viewers “vote” for their favorite videos by making a donation of $10 or more to the parish of their choice. Donations can be done right on the website.
Catholic Charities, which was forced by the pandemic to cancel its primary fundraiser this year, the annual gala, has so far raised about $70,000 in Cooks With Collars sponsorships.
Sponsors of Cooks With Collars include: St. Luke’s University Health Network, Bennett Automotive, Anthony & Evelyn Carfagno, The Topper Foundation, Ray & Teri Bishop, Design IP, RLB Accountants, Allentown’s Ford Law Office, and Von & Jane George.
There’s still plenty of time to watch the various videos and learn a tip or two about how to make some of the best foods parishes can offer, such as halupkies, pierogies, Italian and other ethnic specialties, and mouth-watering desserts.
And while you are at it, consider casting a few more votes to further advance the important community work done by our parishes and by Catholic Charities.
Voting deadline is February 15. Winners will be announced February 16 (Fastnacht Day).