By Patty Belden
Imagine my delight when I read on Facebook that my 13-year-old niece, Blake, was planning a bake sale to benefit the animals affected by the April oil spill. Since a very young age, she has been interested in helping others so I wasn’t surprised, but I was very impressed. I couldn’t wait to learn more. After talking with her, I learned that she came up with the idea and planned everything all on her own! She knew she couldn’t travel down to the coast to help, so she planned to do something locally. She decided that raising money was the best thing she could do to help. She loves to bake (and makes GREAT treats!) so choosing to hold a bake sale was easy. She recruited the help of her friend Zach and they got to work.<
Blake researched organizations online and chose to raise money for the Audubon Nature Institute. She found contact information and sent an email. They responded and gave Blake all the information she needed to hold her fundraiser.
Next step, pick a date and location and start marketing. They chose to set up shop near a baseball field on a Saturday when games were being played all day (good thinking!). She and Zach made posters and hung them all around the area. They even used social media marketing and posted information on Facebook!
The day of the sale they were ready! But to their surprise they weren’t getting much business. They knew they needed a new plan. They loaded their baskets went through the stands. Business started picking up! It still wasn’t quite enough so their effort went one step further – they went into the neighborhood. They went door-to-door until all of the baked goods were sold out!
Overall, they made $132.00 to send to the Audubon Nature Institute. They had such a good time with the bake sale that they decided to make this a summer-long effort. Zach is working on creating a website where they can advertise all of their upcoming events.
I’m so proud of my niece and her friend. They found something they believed in and took action. When I asked Blake why she was doing this, she answered,
I saw one picture of the animals covered in oil. It made me really upset to think that hundreds of animals are being covered in oil. I decided that I didn’t want to be one of those people that just say ‘oh, that’s sad,’ and then move on with my life. I wanted to do something about it.
What a great example of LIVING UNITED. Do you know other young people who are Living United in our community? Share your stories in the comments!<
Way to go Blake! You are an inspiration to us all!