Have you heard about Bake Me Home? It’s a fabulous Cincinnati nonprofit founded by two twin sisters (Emma and Amy Bushman, now 11) and their mother (Alison Bushman). I wrote a story about them in a previous post. Please click here to read it.
Emma entered the ‘Go Orange for No Kid Hungry’ national essay contest and I was able to get a copy of it. I don’t know about you but I find it so uplifting to read about philanthropy from the minds of youth.
Bake Me Home is a charitable organization dedicated to promoting volunteerism and providing disadvantaged moms and kids with direct services that encourage shared family experiences. It was established in 2008 and is a Better Business Bureau approved charity.
It was Christmas Eve-Eve 2010 at a homeless family shelter. My mom, my sister, and I were reading to the kids there. A girl, older than I was at the time, wanted to read one of the books out loud too. She got up in front of everybody and began to read. She was so determined to read that book, even though the kids around her quickly lost interest as she struggled to pronounce the words. I love to read, and it was clear that she liked to read, but just because I had been given a better opportunity to learn, I was a better reader than she was. It occurred to me that it’s probably hard to learn when your hungry all the time and moving around a lot. I would be absolutely devastated if I couldn’t read.
I left the shelter that night thinking a lot about how my life was different from the kids who live there. I spend quite a bit of time hanging out at shelters because my mom, my sister, and I have our own charity called Bake Me Home that provides services to families from homeless and battered women’s shelters, but this night really brought the differences into perspective. Until then I thought about things like the fact that I have my own room, and get to do extra activities like tennis lessons. That night was the first time I realized what a difference there was in our education too. My mom and I both cried in the car on the way home that night. She said it made her sad to think about what a beautiful reader that determined girl could be if she had all the advantages that we did.
Well, we know that we can’t do everything to help homeless kids, but we can let them know them even strangers care about them, and we can help them buy some food. In our Bake Me Home Tote Bags, we give out a $20 grocery store gift card (among other things!). Just last year we gave out 342 $20 gift cards. That’s $6,840 worth of grocery money to hungry families. If I win this essay contest I will donate the money to my non-profit organization so that we can continue to help these kids.
I still think about that girl, and how hard it must be to learn to read when you are hungry, and this is why ending childhood hunger in America is important to me.
Bake Me Home was recently featured on The List