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Cause and effect

During the BlogHer Food conference back in September, I had the pleasure to attend a fantastic panel titled, “How Food Blogs Can Save the World.” In it, panelists discussed how food bloggers everywhere can create, promote and participate in blogging events that go beyond the confines of your online world and actually effect positive change in the world. Of course there was Pim, whose Menu for Hope fundraiser is in its sixth year. Each year, bloggers procure and donate prizes that go up for auction, and all proceeds from raffle sales go to the World Food Program. I myself have donated a prize (and will do so again this year), and have purchased an embarrassing amount of raffle tickets as well. I have also been the lucky recipient of significant prizes, so you can be sure I’ll be bidding again this year. Last year, Menu for Hope raised over $62,000 for the cause.

And then there was the lovely Lydia, who started up a program called Drop In & Decorate. The concept was simple: Get a group of people together to make and decorate cookies, and donate them to a local nonprofit agency supporting basic human needs in your own community. They are close to donating their 10,000th cookie.

This is activism as it should be: Easy, fun and rewarding for both the people participating and the community it serves. And if you want to organize a group of friends to bake and decorate cookies for your local cause, now is the time. Visit the Drop In & Decorate site to learn how you can get coupons for baking products and cookie cutters

I have tremendous respect for people like Lydia and Pim, and for the lesson they are teaching: It does not take a Herculean effort to make a difference. Sometimes it’s something small, like bidding on a prize or slathering icing on a sugar cookie. But when that act is repeated thousands of times by many individuals, it adds up in a big way.

  • Mom

    This is so cool. I think I will try to put something together here in San Diego with some of my friends in the GSDBA.
    On a related note, as you know, my “thing” is greeting cards and there is a man by the name of Russ Haan who started an organization called “Hope is in the Cards” (www.hopeisinthecards.org).
    The premise is so simple:
    What if every American sent just one letter or card of support to another American. What would happen? What would it do to our collective national spirit if the word HOPE was written on the back of every envelope?
    You’d go to your mailbox and it would be filled with something besides bills and collections notices. It would contain HOPE. And better yet, you might even have a personal card or letter from someone saying THANK YOU or I BELIEVE IN YOU.
    Those kinds of messages can do more than just make someone’s day brighter for a moment — they can change people’s lives.

  • Sean, thank you so much for helping to spread the word about Drop In & Decorate. I’m so grateful to all of the food bloggers who support us. And thank you, Mom, for the lovely comment. If you do have an event in San Diego, please let me know and I will help in any possible way.

  • Ted Chaloner

    Thank you so much for supporting Drop In & Decorate. It is great fun and never gets old! It’s an excellent way to build community.

  • Lucia

    I just had a Drop In party for my birthday – we did over 250 cookies for a local food pantry.
    This will be my 4th year doing a Drop In at work. Staff and clients in a brain injury rehab. program love it. Last year we had extra cookies after our planned donation, so I took them to Curves and sold them, then donated the money to a local food pantry.