For some women, Mother’s Day is filled with flowers, food and family. For Krissy Flynn, it’s a day tinged with sadness. Her mother died of leukemia when she was 21. Other women are clustered in domestic violence shelters, hiding from abusive partners and facing uncertain futures.
Flynn is determined to help. Her Classic Diner in Malvern is the epicenter of a massive assistance program aimed at providing food and gift bags to five women’s shelters in Delaware, Chester and Montgomery counties. “I want them to know we care—that there are people in the world who care about them,” she says. “They’re not alone.”
This is the second year Flynn’s restaurant is orchestrating the care program. In 2020, a domestic violence center in West Chester asked Flynn if Classic Diner could provide Mother’s Day brunch for its residents. Because her restaurant was closed to in-person dining, Flynn didn’t have the financial resources to foot the bill herself. So she posted the details on social media, asking for donations. “The phone rang off the hook,” Flynn says. “We raised $5,000 and brought the women Mother’s Day brunch—and meals for two weeks.”
Other local women-owned businesses joined Flynn’s efforts. In West Chester, Amy’s Sweet Bake Shop donated cookies, and Cinq: A Kara Larkin Salon offered gift cards. “That may seem small, but it was while we were all suffering financially,” Flynn says.
This Mother’s Day, Flynn is asking people to make financial donations to help Classic Diner prepare quarts of soup. Temp-tations by Tara, a local cookware company run by women’s advocate Tara Tesher, has pledged financial support. “It’s a modern-day mobile soup kitchen,” says Flynn. “The women can’t come to me, so I’ll go to them.”
Cash donations made to Flynn’s Venmo account (@Krissy-Flynn) will go toward soup, gift bags, tissue paper and all the trimmings. Flynn is also seeking in-kind donations. One publisher donated children’s books, while another company is providing cookies.
And it’s not just women getting involved. John Grillo is president of The Vine Ministry in Exton. With Grillo’s guidance, Flynn and her Classic Diner staff prepared hundreds of quarts of soup for The Vine to distribute. During the height of the pandemic, they fed frontline workers at Riddle Hospital and Lankenau Medical Center. West Chester’s mayor, Dianne Herrin, put Flynn in touch with people in the borough who needed food assistance. “It’s a quart of soup, but it’s also a reminder that there is good in the world,” Flynn says.
Send donations via Venmo to @Krissy-Flynn. For more information, email email@example.com or call (610) 620-5075.