14 April 2011

i have an idea and it involves YOU

Yep, you. There is this idea that's been spinning around in my head for a month or so and then today it grew just a little bit bigger. Let me start at the beginning.


Before I had kids, I spent a lot of my free time volunteering. It started when I was in high school and my friend's mom invited me to help put together Thanksgiving baskets for less fortunate families in their church. My youth group would sometimes volunteer at the Union Gospel Mission. I went on trips to developing countries and met families and children in need that made my heart ache. Right after we got married, Nick and I signed up to help with breakfast for the homeless at our church. All of those things changed me and shaped me and gave me a longing to reach out to others as much as I could.


Then, as the story goes, we started with the babies. My focus changed to my family, my free time dwindled into nonexistence and those moments of "reaching out" disappeared. For the last few months I have been trying to figure out how I could do something about that. I want to volunteer somewhere, but the reality of my schedule doesn't really allow it. And I want to include my boys because I think it's so important to instill the idea of sharing what you have with others. 


Then a little bell went off in my brain and the lightbulb flashed, and here we are! I may have mentioned a time or two that I like to bake (ahem). But I also like to have someone to give my wares to, because let's face it, I am not a gym rat (refer back to comments on free time, motivation and Hulu Plus). SO, here it is, folks: My goal for the next six months is to bake a big ol' batch of something - bread, muffins, cookies, whatever, and take it to the streets every other week. We live in a city with a homeless population of over 7,000. That is crazy. Almost everywhere you drive, you'll encounter at least one person on a street corner holding a sign.  And my baked goods might not add up to much, but maybe they could bless someone in need and teach my boys a thing or two about giving back. And I can do it without getting out of my car.


Here is where you come in. Let me present: Bakin' it to the Streets. Wouldn't it be cool if we did this all over the place? Maybe you don't have a big homeless population - maybe you have a lonely neighbor or coworker, or a nursing home near by, or an afterschool program looking for snacks. We can't all give time and money, but we can all give something. So every other week I am going to host a link up. If you decide to join the party, share it on your blog (or if you don't have a blog, just leave a comment). You could post about your experience, share the recipe you used, do a photo entry - whatever works for you. And, if you want to link up to this post and spread the word, just grab the button on the sidebar, share the idea with your readers and make this thing happen in YOUR world.






You don't have to be a baker to participate. You can grab a box of granola bars, an extra coffee, a bunch of bananas, an extra meal at the drive thru (not that any of us ever eat fast food. ahem) - possibilities are pretty much endless. 
Tell me what you think, share your ideas, spread the word - everyone is invited to the party!
I'll write my first post on how it goes on 4/22 - join me!


19 comments:

  1. LOVE the idea - because this life isn't all about us, it's about us helping others - i'm in!!!

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  2. I think this is such a fabulous idea. I will definitely try to join in!

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  3. I'm in! We are out of town this week, but I'm in FOR SURE for next week! Way to use your fame and fortune for good and not evil! :-)

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  4. Taylor and I did this one time in Seattle. WE packed a bunch of lunches and just walked around Broadway. Whenever someone asked us for money we were able to give them a lunch AND most of the time were able to talk to them about the LOVE of our LORD! I'll share the love here in the burbs of Chicago. Not as many homeless this far north of the city but as you mentioned there are lots of other people that can be blessed:) Thanks Carina!

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  5. This is a great idea! I love to bake and cook, but I'm also trying to lose weight, so it would make sense to give it away. Also, just last night, a woman run up to my husband and asked for food (he had picked up take-out, and she thought he was leaving a restaurant with leftovers). The thing is, we will sometimes give our leftovers to homeless people as we leave restaurants, but last night, my husband knew he didn't have any to spare. What you are suggesting is a really good idea.

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  6. Great idea! I'll follow you so I can be reminded. Not sure how often I'll be able to participate. We have a lot of homeless in our area too. We have given our leftovers from eating out to homeless we have seen on the corner on our way home too.

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  7. Popped in from SITS! I would totally do this. Just let me know. I love to bake and rarely get to because everyone is on diets!

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  8. Oh wow, what a brilliant idea! Seriously, I love this!

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  9. Carina, great idea! We just stopped by a nursing home down the way and are going to make visiting a regular routine and Brian is going to try to play music there once a month. I'm not sure if I'll be organized enough to write about it but I'll try :)

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  10. I'm soory, but I think you will find, if you ask some specific questions of a "homeless" sign carrier at a street corner, that most are not in fact "homeless". Ask any one of them to lead you to where they syayed the night before, and then offer to buy an entire weeks worth of groceries and deliver it to where they live. My bet is you won't have any takers. One of the regulars at a corner here has a car, a home, and 3 children in school all day. Yes, she is a divorced Mom, a single Mom, but not homeless.She answered all my questions calmly and truthfully. It's a great gig.Let's, yes, help the truly needy, but they are not hanging out on street corners, Carina. Perhaps this will help:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4teq7aKTNJ4

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  11. Free stuff for industrialists: Corporations, of course are freeloaders,too.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlVmNFi0HOI

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  12. Bill, I am aware that all aren't truly homeless, and that is why I am not driving around giving them money. But there are a lot who spend their nights in shelters or on the streets and are very grateful just to get leftovers. I've met them and seen them. First and foremost, I want to teach my boys to share, even if it's small, with someone less fortunate and to have compassion for others.

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  13. I referenced your "Baking it to the Streets" on my post today: http://lmrphotographyphotos.blogspot.com/2012/11/my-response-to-election-as-if-anyone.html

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  14. LOVE this idea & am totally wanting to implement it in our town!! Found your blog by way of Lindsy (above).

    I spent a summer working with my brother guiding kayak tours. He is such a selfless giver. We drove around Florida with packs of water in the backseat and anytime we would see a homeless person, he would stop and give him or her a few bottles. We even went out to Outback Steakhouse where he told me he was going to the bathroom, but instead walked outside to ask a homeless man what he wanted for dinner - steak, chicken, fish, he could name it. All he wanted was a hamburger. So my brother bought the guy a hamburger and invited him to dine with us (he decided not to eat with us though). Food is a much more thoughtful (and filling) gift than money. :)

    Thanks for the challenge, Carina!

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  15. This is so great I have taken your idea and we are taking it to the streets. Wasn't it Margret Meade who said Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.Good job mama, keep up the great work

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