For a couple years now, Jackie of La Casa de Sweets has asked me to assist her fundraising efforts for Share Our Strength. When she first approached me, I was a stay at home mom and believed I lacked the proper exposure for such an undertaking; I offered to attempt fundraising on my blog alone, though I felt guilty about the minimal effort. Last year when Jackie asked, I felt bad that I had to turn her down, but we were house hunting and my life was just too chaotic at the time. This year, however, I was ready. I knew she’d be sending out that email soon and I started asking around at work to see if we could pull it off. Finally, the planets have aligned–I was able to compile a team and a location so that we could run our own Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry!
No Kid Hungry is a campaign by Share Our Strength to aid kids here in the United States who don’t have enough to eat. No Kid Hungry provides educational programs for low income families, teaching them how to prepare nutritious, affordable meals. They also help connect children in need with breakfasts at school and summer lunch programs, a time when those on free and reduced lunch may otherwise go without meals. This isn’t some abstract effort–people right here in my own state are helped by these programs, and with my hometown now on the food insecurity list, it’s too close to home to ignore.
I work in a municipal building and the nice thing about where I work is that we all get along so well. This made it easy to find volunteers to bake and run the sale. Men and women alike, secretaries and department heads, all stepped into their kitchens and reached into their wallets to make this bake sale a success.
I worried in the weeks preceding the event that we would have all these baked goods and nobody to buy them. Early in the planning process, I arranged for leftovers to be brought to the local Social Services/Senior Center for their weekly lunch. I also contacted the local free publications, utilizing No Kid Hungry’s press release to spread the word. I wasn’t expecting this:
Yikes! Still, it did what it was supposed to–people heard about the bake sale and we received several donations before the event itself because of this article.
I spent the weekend before the bake sale baking, of course. And tweeting. And posting updates to Facebook. Any way I could stir up interest, I did. I couldn’t figure out if I had baked enough for the sale or not–I knew at least a dozen other people would be baking, but how much did we need? With no prior experience–heck, I haven’t even been a part of a bake sale since I helped run our French Club table when I was 15–I had no idea what to expect. Worst case scenario, we’d run out–and I’d hope people would be understanding. This is a volunteer project, after all.
Luckily, there was no cause for concern. A steady stream of people visited the bake sale throughout the day. We had a fantastic selection to offer: peanut blossoms, creamsicle cookies, corn muffins, pumpkin cupcakes, whoopie pies, chocolate chip cookies, banana breads, brownies, snickerdoodles… the list goes on and on. Such an array of sweets to tempt the taste buds! And some clementines, too, for those less inclined to indulge in baked goods.
We received a decent amount of outright donations, too. A lack of a sweet tooth did not stop anyone from helping our cause. The excitement was infectious as the tally rose. Some were even talking about our next bake sale and what they’d like to do for that. I was happy to see so many of my co-workers not only take an interest in the cause, but take the cause on as their own and truly enjoy seeing its success.
It was a successful day indeed. We did not manage to sell all the goodies–there were so many of them–but we did raise $630, between donations received before the sale, our dress down day funds from last Friday, and the bake sale itself! Wahoo! We’ll be adding this week’s dress down day funds to that total, which far exceeds my expectations. How wonderful to see the community come together to raise money for No Kid Hungry!
So yes, it went well. And yes, there will be future bake sales. What better way to spread joy and help others than with the gift of good food? I love it!
What causes are near and dear to your heart? Have you ever run a bake sale to raise funds for charity before?
Update 4/30/2013: The total funds raised are actually $630! Phenomenal!
Update 5/3/2013: Adding in our Dress Down Day funds for the week plus additional donations, we’ve topped out at $700!! So impressed and proud of my co-workers and the community!