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.