by Janet Bantz Glavin
(A challenge to Peoria Life readers: Share Natalia's wish. Follow the recipe for Chef Natalia's Soup of Love and share in the warmth of her inspiration by serving it at your local shelter or to your family and friends. Then, tell us about your soup-sharing experience in the comments section after the article!)
I love it when meeting others takes me outside of myself and my everyday worries and distractions to provide a new perspective. Worries seem to fade away and inspiration takes hold. Over the past eleven and one-half years at Make-A-Wish, I’ve had the opportunity to work with thousands of volunteers, community leaders and people from of all walks of life, including the incredible wish families and wish children who inspire us in our mission each day. The sense of courage, hope and strength in the adversity of battling a life-threatening medical condition combined with amazing creativity and joy keeps me going on many days.
In 2014, a special wish that touched my heart was Natalia’s wish to make a soup to feed the homeless. Natalia, age 10, diagnosed with a brain tumor wished to make and serve a soup to the homeless. Read all about Natalia’s wish.
This wish is especially meaningful to me as I’d spent my early post-college years working and volunteering with the homeless at soup kitchens. Imagine my surprise when my colleagues and I had a chance to taste Natalia’s delicious Soup of Love and hear from Natalia and her family via video-conference a Make-A-Wish gathering this past October.
Sadly, Natalia passed away at this past December after bravely battling her brain tumor. However, her inspiration lives on in her recipe and soup kitchens, restaurants and many people all over the country are sharing Natalia’s Soup of Love. Natalia, at her young age, understood how a wish has power and she was willing to share hers. I’d love to hear from readers who give the soup a try.