OCEAN CITY – Gather your friends and family to come out next month and support Diakonia, which supports those in need, by simply dining out.

Diakonia will be holding its 2nd Annual Dine Out for Diakonia on April 24-25. Dine Out for Diakonia is when restaurants are asked to participate by donating a percentage of their profits on April 24 and/or 25 while community members are asked to assemble friends, families and co-workers and dine out at a participating restaurant.

A meal will support Diakonia’s efforts to provide help and hope to those in need in the community as 100 percent of the profits from the event will go directly to housing, food and support services to those struggling in the community.

Diakonia is inviting all restaurants in the area to join in the event. Participating restaurants select their level of participation ranging from all meals on both days to one meal. They can also choose to donate a flat donation if they prefer. A list of the restaurants will be published indicating the level of participation for each restaurant.  

Diakonia is also asking participating restaurants to join them in promoting the event in the upcoming weeks. Marketing materials will be provided.  

According to Diakonia Executive Director Claudia Nagle, the event came about last year when Diakonia established its first Special Events Committee, consisting of community volunteers who generously support Diakonia’s efforts.  With their many years of experience in the community, members developed ideas for fundraising events and Dine Out Days was one of them.

Last year there were 26 participating restaurants that rose over $6,000.   This year Diakonia is looking for even greater participation, hoping to double the number of participating restaurants and raise $50,000.

“It is a way for local restaurants to support local people in need,” Special Events Chair Debbi Anderson said. “The restaurants do it by donating a portion of their sales and the people in the community do it by just going and enjoying a meal with family, friends and co-workers and in doing so it really supports the people who need our help most.”

New this year, the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association (OCHMRA) is partnering with Diakonia for Dine Out Days in recruiting restaurants to participate in the event. Earlier this month, the OCHMRA had a booth set up at its annual trade expo providing the opportunity for local restaurants to come on board.

Restaurants can currently sign up to participate by contacting Anderson at 410-250-0315 or emailing [email protected] for more information and to register.  Diakonia’s Special Events Committee members will also be contacting restaurants to ask for their participation and support in the upcoming weeks.

The registration deadline is April 12 in order to be included in the published list and marketing of the event. Restaurants may register after April 12 but will not be included on the published list.

According to Diakonia, for more than 30 years the organization has been helping individuals and families in Worcester County and on the Lower Shore by providing shelter, food, clothing and the resources to rebuild their lives. Diakonia is the only comprehensive provider of emergency and transitional housing for men, women and families on the Lower Shore.

Diakonia is dedicated to building a foundation for those in crisis or who are homeless while maintaining their dignity and respect, providing hope and assistance and helping them change the direction of their lives, one step at a time.

The services Diakonia provides are funded through support from individuals, local civic organizations, churches, foundations and the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore.  Diakonia also receives support from the state and local governments.