Baking for a better world

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Have you ever thought about how you could help others by putting your passion for baking to work?

Here at King Arthur Flour, we place a great deal of emphasis on what we call “stewardship:” that means, among other things, being responsible caretakers of our community and our environment.

As employee-owners, we spend time volunteering for projects like making and serving community dinners to folks in need right here in our backyard; and our Life Skills program teaches kids to bake and then share their bread with local food pantries.

We do what we can – but we know that our hundreds of thousands of customers, if each of you baked just once for a good cause, could make a HUGE positive impact. So we always love to hear about the creative ways our customers and fans use baking in service to others.

We recently learned of a 12-year-old from North Carolina, Casey Sokolovic, whose enthusiasm in both baking and being a good steward of the environment came together into an event she’s calling The Great Bake for Oceans’ Sake. It’s a wonderful example for all of us of how home bakers – even kids! – can use their hobby for the greater good.

Casey is organizing a coast-to-coast, simultaneous bake sale – kicking off July 9, National Sugar Cookie Day, and continuing throughout the month – to raise money for the care of marine animals affected by the Gulf oil spill. Proceeds of The Great Bake for Oceans’ Sake will benefit the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Casey’s passion for marine animals was inspired by a school field trip to a sea turtle rescue center in Topsail Island, N.C. After seeing injured and sick sea turtles, Casey developed an awareness program called “Help Them L.A.S.T., Love A Sea Turtle.” Around the same time, Casey discovered her love of baking, and she now bakes and sells turtle-shaped sugar cookies at her school, farmers’ markets, and other events and donates the proceeds to the sea turtle rescue.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in late April – and the resulting and ongoing oil spill – gave Casey the impetus to take her bake sale nationwide, raising even more money to help in the rescue and rehabilitation of marine animals in the Gulf. Casey’s Web site includes everything you need to know to participate in The Great Bake for Oceans’ Sake, from sugar cookie recipes to how to organize and spread the word about your own bake sale.

Casey says folks in Florida, California, and Wisconsin will participate in The Great Bake for Oceans’ Sake, and she hopes more will join in. “A thousand would just be great,” she says.

So, whether it’s getting on board with The Great Bake for Oceans’ Sake or something else entirely, we hope Casey’s story will inspire you to turn your baking prowess toward making the world a better place. After all, what could be better than following your passion and helping someone else, all at the same time?

Leave a comment below to let us know how you put your baking to work for others. The more ideas we all have, the more we can do!

Allison Furbish
About

Allison Furbish is a native of the Upper Valley, where King Arthur Flour is based, and an avid lifelong baker especially enthusiastic about anything chocolate.

comments

  1. PJ Hamel

    Love to see those red KAF Cares shirts – because they signal something good happening, whether it’s a Habitat for Humanity project, a community dinner, reading with elementary school kids at the school across the street – there are all kinds of volunteer opportunities available here at King Arthur. AND as a company, we give ourselves each 40 hours a year, paid, to take part in the volunteer activities of our choice. I’m proud to be a member of KA’s stewardship team, test kitchen team, Web team – the King Arthur TEAM.

    Me too, PJ. :-)

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  2. Rachel @ Working Out Wellness

    Gosh, this is such a great idea. I didn’t realize KAF was so involved with the community. Is there a way other people can get involved with KAF Cares?

    Thanks Rachel! KAF Cares is our internal community service effort – but there is no doubt much you could do right in your own community to join us in spirit. Think of a local nonprofit organization you’d like to help, or check your local paper for volunteer opportunities. Thanks for wanting to get involved – we’re all in this together! -AF

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  3. Lish

    That is a phenomenal story, and so inspiring. I love that so many young people are becoming aware of their world and doing things to improve it. I hope I can find a way to be a part of her dream. I thought we were good sending baked goods to the local retirement homes, but this girl is taking community service to a whole new level! Our family applauds her vision and tenacity!

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  4. Donna Jo

    While I am no longer a young person, I have been baking bread for the last two years to raise money for our Relay for Life team for the American Cancer Society. I usually bake 12 to 20 loaves of bread a week and sell them at work–I let everyone on my “Bread List” know what kinds I will be baking a few days before so they can preorder.

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  5. Wei-Wei

    What a great story and such an inspiring kid! I’m probably one of the younger ones reading this blog – I’m fifteen. I love baking and our family (collectively, anyway) doesn’t have a sweet tooth. I guess baking for other people or for a cause would be a better way to pawn off the yumminess! :D

    Wei-Wei

    You got it, Wei-Wei – and don’t forget, there’s lots to bake that isn’t sweet! :-) -AF

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  6. Lydia

    As someone who’s been helping people bake for donation for the past eight years, I’m delighted to see KAF encouraging this in young people. Drop In & Decorate teaches people to bake and decorate cookies, and to donate to nonprofit agencies addressing the most basic human needs (food or shelter) in their own communities.

    Thanks for chiming in, Lydia! You offer a great resource for others who want to get involved. -AF

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  7. Celeste

    As a Gulf Coast resident, I’m grateful to people across America who are helping to mitigate the impact of the ongoing BP oil spill. Thanks, Casey!!

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  8. Francine

    THANKS for a most wonderful article today. I always knew I really liked you guys…this is just something to remind me WHY that is.

    Blessings.

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  9. Ann

    Casey, you are amazing. KAF’s crew, you guys are wonderful. If you happen to open KAF in Canada, I would love to join your team. I am very impressed with your community involvement. I will have to improve my baking skill so I can do something too. Thanks for sharing. YOU definitely inspired me.

    Thanks, Ann! We have lots of resources, online and off, to help you improve your baking skill! :-) -AF

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  10. Jane

    On my Fridays off I volunteer at Food and Friends, a charity that cooks and delivers meals to people in our community with life-threatening illnesses. If you think regular cooking and baking is hard, try designing and making thousands of meals a day for people with diabetes, gluten allergies, extremely compromised immune systems (about half of our clients have HIV/AIDS), strict vegetarian diets, strict high-fat diets, or purees so they can be fed through straws…it’s difficult work but it’s very humbling.

    Thank you, KAF, for supporting such good causes with your work! Like they say, give a kid a cookie and he eats for a day…teach a kid to bake and you’ll be cleaning flour off your countertops for the rest of your life…

    Wow, Jane – that does sound like quite a challenge, and an amazing program! Thank YOU for your dedication to it! -AF

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  11. Ricardo Neves Gonzalez - Petrópolis, R.J. - BRAZIL

    In my very small bakery i have, me and my wife, the consciece of how could we help for a better world when we bake our goods. We recicle all the trash and baker´s residuals in a local cooperative of reciclabe just in neighborhood. We use only reciclabe papers in our packages and promotes the environmental efforts to protect local water founts and reserves. We only use mineral water in our breads. I use aproximately 4 to 5 PET bottles of 1,5 litres of waters daily. In one year it represents around 1500 PET bottles, so we save it to go to polute our river streams and another water resources.
    Our artisan bakery is compromised with not use of any chemical bread preservatives, only natural ingredients and it contributes to the health of our customers!
    We have our motto:

    ´We take care of your food, so that it takes care of your health!! `

    Good for you, Ricardo. I like that motto! -AF

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  12. wes

    I don’t own a bakery, but each year I turn my house into a bakery and trade bread, cinnamon rolls, biscotti. granola and bake-to-order items for donations to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. I usually raise over $500 per year.

    Excellent event, Wes. And as a survivor, I thank you for your support. PJH

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  13. Shane Sanders

    I too have been working to Bake the World a Better Place. I have been designing a non-profit organization that provides low-income housing to tenant who only need to pay their utilities at the end of each month, and their rent is paid off as time spent in our kitchen baking good which we then donate back out to shelters and soup kitchens in the area. The organizations name?..you guesses it; Bake the World a Better Place. We were in the running for a $250,000 grant in the Pepsi Refresh Project during the month of January. You can check us out and see what we are planning to do to help end hunger, homelessness, and increase the human potential through this strategic work-rent plan. Feel free to check us out at http://www.doughnate.org
    That is just the best name for your organization, Shane. You are providing a great service to those in need. Had to laugh at your website name, too! Thanks for sharing. Elisabeth

    Reply

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