Share our Strength

On Saturday, bloggers in major (and minor!) cities around the U.S. held bake sales to benefit Share our Strength, a charity whose mission is to end childhood hunger. When my friend, Gaby, asked if I would head up the New York City bake sale, I happily accepted.

After stopping at Levain Bakery to pick up the two dozen cookies they donated, we headed down to Kiehl’s who graciously allowed us to host the bake sale in front of their flagship store at 109 Third Avenue.

We had intended to start the bake sale at 10 AM, but we were set up by 9:30 and doing a roaring trade. I was surprised how supportive people were. We had lots of people standing around, taking pictures, asking about our blogs, Share our Strength, and the toothsome baked good people had made.

We had sweet little baked goods on the table.

We had sweet little dogs come by (I took about 50 photos of that puppy in a cart).

We had sweet little kids come by.

Who doesn’t love cute puppies, babies and baked goods?

But the most important part of the day was a lot less cute and sweet.

Late in the afternoon, a man walked by our table. He looked like he hadn’t showered in days. He had a black eye and a crinkled up MacDonald’s bag. He did a double take at all the baked goods. He almost walked away, but then he turned around, came up to the table and boldly asked, “Can I have one? I’m hungry. And I really am homeless.” I thought to myself, what else are we here for? “Sure” I said, “Help yourself!” He was so genuinely grateful. He couldn’t believe that we just gave him these baked goods. He just said “thank you” over and over again and reiterating that he really was homeless.

As he walked away, I saw him stop to talk to another man who also looked like he could use some help. I overheard him say, “Do you want some of my cookies?” Of course that made my heart swell, that he was willing to share. I walked over to the other man and said, “You can actually come and help yourself to your own baked goods.” He was apprehensive at first (perhaps reticent to accept ‘charity’), but a few minutes later he walked over, started up a conversation and started filling his bag with a few things.

Those moments made the whole day worth it. That, and we raised $800 for Share our Strength so that no child goes hungry. Because if we learned one thing yesterday it’s that there are a lot of hungry people out there. Men, women and children.

37 Comments

  1. says

    What a moving poetic ending to a fabulous day. Thank you so much for sharing this story and reminding us what it’s really all about, I just loved it Maggy :)

  2. says

    So honored to have been a part of this with all of you. Thank you again for organizing, but especially for sharing this story–it’s great to know that making a difference in someone’s day, or weekend, or week can be as simple as giving him/her a Movie Theatre Cookie.

  3. says

    absolutely what it’s all about – and what i appreciate about this situation is that you told him to help himself . . . and he then wants to pay it forward and share with someone else . . . makes my day Maggy, makes my day

  4. Terri says

    Isn’t it truly humbling when you attempt to bless and the blessing is returned to you abundantly? It is experiences like you had that return us from our busy self-filled agendas to humanity and peace.

  5. says

    What a great story! So true that little things can make a big impact, small kindness have a ripple effect! Thanks for organizing and happy that I could contribute in a small way to the success.

  6. says

    What a great story! It goes to show you that small kindnesses have ripple effects. Thanks so much for organizing Maggy, and glad to have been a small part of the bake sale success.

  7. Karen says

    Thank you for being a positive part of the solution. I am glad that you shared this. Hope you have the happiest of birthdays!

  8. says

    Maggy, watching you talk with so many people who needed the food and deeply appreciated it was my favorite part of the day. It made me very happy to be able to help hunger across NYC in many different ways.

  9. says

    Amazing story, I love how God placed people like that in the right place at the right time. Glad to hear your bake sale was successful! We had so much fun at the one in San Diego, I can’t wait for next year already :)

  10. says

    That is a beautiful thing–made me well up that you treated those men with such kindness. I wish I could have been closer to enjoy your bake sale. Congrats on its success!

  11. says

    Beautiful post and certainly a reminder that for every child that is hungry, there is most likely a hungry adult too. Photos of your wonderful day are just excellent.

  12. says

    What a beautiful story, Maggy. Sometimes, the world can be cold and people can lose the sense of who they are. Kindness is the best way to make us all feel human again, and when someone experiences it from a stranger, it becomes easy—natural—to show that same kindness to others.

    You have such a big heart. I’m glad those men had a chance to experience that.

  13. says

    Thanks so much for organizing the bake sale. I was so happy to be a part of this event. What an amazing story you’ve told to go with it too. That’s what its all about.

  14. Angela says

    What a very lovely and human story! Sometimes we forget that we were blessed with so much so that we could give it away! So powerful!

  15. says

    I’m so glad the sale went well – I’m still sad we couldn’t work out a drop off. I love those puppies, and that’s a truly wonderful story you have at the end. Hope you’ll be in touch about future efforts! :-)

  16. Kathy Dys says

    Thanks for sharing such a heartwarming story! It made me smile and most of all made me ask myself what I could do to help.

  17. says

    What a wonderful story! I love the burgers and fries and the clever way the cupcakes are packaged. I had so much fun organizing the Central Florida bake sale, I’m definitely participating again next year!

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