PEORIA, Ill. — The statue of Jesus Christ at Serenity Memorial Park is still broken, but on the way to restoration.
“The community’s been amazing, they’re outstanding I think the good Lord works in strange ways,” UFS Downtown Outlet Center owner Pierre Serafin said.
Last week, someone defaced the monument and since then neighbors have pitched in to get it fixed. Peoria City Councilwoman Denise Moore created a Go Fund Me for the restoration of the statue.
After only two days, more than $2,000 has been raised.
Two-year-old Dominic Ware-Jackson admired the symbol of peace and was sad to see it damaged.
“He said well we [have to] take him to the hospital so he can get well. I said well it takes a lot of money to go to the hospital nowadays,” Dominic’s great grandmother Katherine Ware said.
Dominic was serious and decided to take action.
“He came back with his piggy bank,” she said. “I said, ‘Boy if you don’t put that money down,’ [and] he said, ‘I [have to] go help Jesus and take him to the hospital’.”
Dominic and his grandmother brought the piggy bank straight to UFS Downtown Outlet Center.
“Just couldn’t believe he did it, I’m so proud of him,” ware said.
Dominic’s piggy bank had a total of $57.70 inside.
Pierre Serafin, outlet owner and statue commissioner, gave him something even better.
“That’s what love one another as I have loved you means. Come from the heart, it came from Dominic’s heart,” Serafin said. “For as generous as he’s been, here’s $100.”
He surprised ware and Dominic with a $100 gift card to the UFS outlet.
Ware was shocked and became emotional.
“He got a gift card for more than what he gave,” Ware said.
“Look what he gave you, now you can get anything you want for your birthday,” she said to her grandson.
Dominic’s third birthday is Saturday and his great grandmother said he may be able to get a bike with his gift card. Serafin said Dominic is a great kid and should be an example to the rest of us.
If you are interested in donating to restore the statue click here.