I’ve written and deleted a half dozen sentences, trying to figure out the right way to announce Bake It Forward, a new facet of In Jennie’s Kitchen. So, perhaps if I just let the words flow something will come out that makes sense.
I love baking. I want to leave this world in better shape than I was born into it. Once a month, the girls and I do a large shop to donate to the local shelter. It’s a mix of things, mostly food, but also feminine hygiene products, toilet paper (did you know neither are covered by food stamps?), and seasonal items (school supplies in September, gifts during December). I also have a Kiva account set up to help female entrepreneurs in developing countries. But I’ve been thinking about ways I can use my love of baking to help create ripples of good around the world.
And so, that is how Bake It Forward came to be. Each month I’ll carefully vet a charitable organization for us to collectively make donations, and with each donation, you’ll get a homemade baked good in the mail from me. There will be no funds that change hands between us. You make a donation of $25 or more, email me a copy of your donation receipt, along with your address, and I’ll send you (or a friend) a sweet treat to say thank you for being a good human being (ingredient, packaging & shipping charges at my own expense, using proceeds from the ad revenue that helps support this site).
Since I anticipate there being a lot of good human beings out there, I’m going to cap Bake it Forward gifts to the first 20 donations, for now. I’ll come back and update this post once that cap has been met, but don’t let that stop you from giving (think about the feel good feeling!). Perhaps in the future I’ll be able to enlist some volunteer bakers to help. For now, let’s start with a small ripple, and see where it goes.
I’ll be using Charity Navigator to aid in my selection of the organization(s) each month, the goal being to choose charities that dedicate at least 90% of their funds towards the intended recipients (i.e. very low overhead/administrative expenses for maximum financial impact).
This month’s Bake It Forward cause is relief to the communities affected by the recent earthquakes in Mexico. Some of you might be familiar with Global Giving. It’s a crowd source fundraising site, providing relief internationally. In the case of the Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund, monies are distributed to “deeply rooted local organizations” making a direct impact on the ground in Mexico. Reports are posted, and sent to donors, so you can see how the funds are being used. They have a 100% transparency rating on Charity Navigator.
The second fund you can choose to make a donation to this month is Project Paz. It’s a NYC non-profit, with the main goal of helping Latino children in both the U.S. & Mexico succeed academically by organizing access to after-school art programs. They do not have a listing on Charity Navigator, but I think they’re a worthy cause, with a good heart, which is why I’ve chosen them. They have established a separate fundraiser to help with relief efforts for earthquake victims by partnering with two organizations in Mexico.
The Bake It Forward gift this month for all donations of $25 to $49 will be one dozen Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies. Donors able to contribute $50 or more to Global Giving or Project Paz will be sent two (2) loaves of my French Chocolate Cake (one for you, and one for a friend!). Bake It Forward gifts for this first round of giving will be baked fresh, and mailed out, on October 16th, 2017.
Thank you, as always, for reading, and being the change you want to see in the world.
Bake It Forward: October 2017
- Donate $25 or more to Global Giving or Project Paz.
- Email a copy of your receipt with the date and amount of your donation, and your mailing address (or that of a friend if you want to make your gift a gift!) to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line BAKE IT FORWARD.
- See, it’s that easy! Now all you have to do is wait for your goodies to arrive in the mail.
UPDATE 9/23/17: Thank you everyone for the outpouring of kindness and generosity. The many notes you’ve sent, sharing a hello, a story, enthusiasm for being part of this collective Bake It Forward initiative have been a lovely gift. I wanted to pop in, and let everyone know that this morning, the 20th email arrived. I hope to expand this in future Bake It Forwards. There have been many volunteers offering baking support. Even though the cap has been reached to receive a homemade treat this month, please keep up the amazing efforts and donate what you can (and feel free to send me a note so I can add it to our final tally when I announce next month’s Bake It Forward).