“The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
What a beautiful weekend for a bake sale!
This was our first time holding a family fundraiser, and so we set our goal nervously at $50. We sold for about four hours and accumulated nearly a hundred dollars at our beach bake sale! Another thirty dollars were donated online.
This was a hugely fulfilling experiment on a personal level:
- We met many nice people who seemed really interested in our cause- perhaps we inspired some other bake sales, but if nothing else, we came away with a sense of incredible affirmation. Several people wanted to know when we would do this again.
- I found that many of the people who were most generous with their donations, most eager to talk about what we were doing, and why we were doing it, were quite young- I would guess high school. They renewed my sense of exuberance. I remember what it was to be that age, to believe in causes and change, to be so free and open. When did that change? How do I return to that place?
- I’ve been going to that beach house for over a decade, and for the first time, struck up conversations with our beachy neighbors. They were so lovely and supportive- how is it I’ve never met them before? I am happy to report that I feel like I became a part of that community this weekend.
- We are so grateful for the support of our extended family, who enthusiastically stepped up and generously baked up goodies for us to sell. This would not have been so successful or so much fun without their support.
- And it was fun. All of it. The baking, the word-spreading, the setting up, the talking with people, the writing of this post right now. I feel like I got much more out of it than I gave.
- My boys are so excited that they are making a real, tangible contribution. They made a decision, they committed to it, they followed through. An action that they deliberately undertook will benefit other children in need of a little help. They are heady with a sense of accomplishment and are already discussing what changes should be made for next time.
- Finally, and totally egotistically, I am satisfied that my baking is edible. And worth a quarter to the right customer.Remember- if you’d like to host your own bake sale to help end childhood hunger, register at Save Our Strength.
Save Our Strength has a stated 10-point plan to end childhood hunger (I lifted this verbatim from the site):
- Provide all children with a healthy breakfast. On a typical school day, 55.4% of America’s schoolchildren who are eligible for a healthy free or reduced-price school breakfast don’t get one. Our goal is to make sure every kid who can receive such a healthy start to his/her day does.
- Encourage healthy food choices. Courses that teach practical nutrition information, cooking skills and food budgeting help families learn how to get more healthy meals out of tight budgets. Our plan supports such nutrition education programs — including Share Our Strength’s Operation Frontline — as ways to address childhood hunger, obesity and other diet-related diseases.
- Help eligible families meet needs at home with access to food stamps. Nationally, only 60% of those eligible for the federal Food Stamp program receive benefits. Half of those recipients are children. Share Our Strength’s plan supports work to make food stamps more accessible to everyone who is eligible.
- Improve the economic security of working families. Share Our Strength’s plan helps families achieve economic stability by supporting organizations that help families take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for working families and the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) programs. In 2003, the EITC lifted 4.4 million people out of poverty, including 2.4 million children.
- Increase families’ access to fresh, affordable produce in their own neighborhoods. For families living in America’s poor and working-class neighborhoods, fresh produce is both hard to find and expensive. Our plan supports efforts that bring solutions such as full-service supermarkets, farmers markets that accept food stamps and community gardens to these neighborhoods.
- Help afterschool programs provide healthy meals and snacks. You’ve heard all the news about what kids are eating in school. Share Our Strength is also concerned about what they’re eating (or not) after school. Our goal is to encourage healthy snacking habits that kids will take into the future.
- Expand the reach of summer meals programs. For too many kids, school vacations can be hungry times. Less than 10% of children eligible for summer food programs participate, leaving more than 16 million kids who don’t. Our plan supports efforts to make these programs accessible to more kids who need them and to make sure that the foods they eat are healthy.
- Ensure access to balanced, nutritious diets for all pregnant women and preschool children. Good childhood health starts with good prenatal nutrition that continues through the preschool years. Yet too few eligible moms take advantage of the federal WIC program that provides nutrition education and supplemental food for qualifying families. Our plan supports efforts to enroll more eligible moms in these programs and others like them.
- Ensure access to nutritious food in shelters and food pantries. Food banks, pantries, shelters and other emergency food providers need more food, especially healthy food. Fresh protein, produce and dairy products rank at the top of the list of the foods that pantries and shelters need most. Our plan supports efforts to help these providers offer a steady supply of healthier options.
- Provide comprehensive public education about available resources and assistance. Families at risk of hunger need more and better information about the programs that will help their kids eat healthy meals no matter how tough things get financially. This is why education is a steady theme in our plan and why we support those who provide such education and outreach as well as those who advocate for it.
Many many thanks to those who donated online! I will leave the donation button up for another day for those who may have been away from their computer during the holiday weekend; donations can also be made directly to Save Our Strength here (our team is named Beach Haven Bake Sale). I will officially transfer all funds on Wednesday morning.