“I just had an idea,” the voice on the other end of the phone said.
In my first bake sale in June 2020, I had friends from out of the area sponsor dozens of cookies to be donated, and I had reached out to Yvonka Hall, the Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition–the organization that benefited from that first bake sale–to see if she would accept some cookies for her volunteers. Our conversation was brief, but she will never know how impactful it was.
I had always thought that to do great things, you had to have an army–of people and of money–and while I’m sure that wouldn’t hurt, Ms. Hall made me realize that all great things must first start with a single idea. The simplicity of her response, as we discussed her current project, which provided meals to at-risk children in the community, resonated with me. I think a lot of us feel stuck by the idea of hypothetical hurdles that prevent us from making an impact in our communities. I don’t have the time. I don’t have the resources. It’s probably a silly idea. And, maybe, sometimes that is true, but you don’t know until you try. As I moved forward with the tiny kitchen bakeshop project, I frequently returned to my conversation with Ms. Hall, and found the strength I needed to continue to move forward.
I could go on and on and on about the organizations that I featured in my summer bake sales under the Baker’s Against Racism project, but for now, here is a brief glimpse into the tremendous things they do.
The Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition‘s mission is to “address disparities and inequities in education, employment housing, health and the impact on African American health disparities by working to empower, educate and advocate for under-served populations.”
$505 raised during the June Bake Sale
Bessie’s Angels is “a non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing, educating, empowering, and providing low income housing (to) young women who have aged out of foster care.”
$695 raised during the July Bake Sale
Ample Harvest “is a unique nationwide resource that is eliminating the waste of food. By doing this, hunger and malnutrition is reduced and the environment is improved. We do this by using the internet to enable 61 million Americans who grow food to easily donate their excess harvest. They bring their fresh food to one of 8,731 registered local food pantries nationwide. These food pantries help nourish the one out of six Americans (including a quarter of all kids under six ).”
$450 raised during the August Bake Sale