Bake Me Home Tote Bag Program
Our Tote Bag Program began with a simple idea from Amy and Emma. They, with their mom Alison, founded Bake Me Home based upon their own love of baking and spending time together. They started the Tote Bag Program to help families leaving shelters celebrate the beginning of a new life in a new home. Amy and Emma delivered tote bags to the first shelter in October 2008, and today this program plans to serve 500 families from 16 agencies in 4 Ohio counties. A complete list is on our home page.
While their original idea began with a simple jar of homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookie mix, they quickly decided to add the mixing bowl, spoon, cookie sheet, pot holder, and spatula, toothbrushes and toothpaste. This growing pile of goodies necessitated delivering them in a sturdy tote bag, hence the name for our program. A $20 gift card to Kroger was also added for the essential butter and eggs needed to complete the recipe (and a few other groceries). Finally, a recipe booklet filled with low-cost, kid-friendly, nutritious recipes donated by Nutrition Council of Greater Cincinnati and printed by Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church, was added. While prices can change slightly, the total cost for each of our Bake Me Home Tote Bags averages about $28.
We thrilled to announce the completion of our kitchen in September 2013, allowing us to welcome groups of volunteers for cookie mix assembly and baking sessions in our new home! We also have opportunities in this wonderful new space for groups to fill Tote bags. Volunteers as young as four years old are welcomed at all sessions (with an adult accompanying them). Private Sessions are also available for service groups. We thank all our volunteers for donating their time, and also thank SNOWIE for donating all of our sugar! Anyone interested in volunteering can register their email address on the right hand side panel of our website, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bake Me Home Pantry Totes
A division of our Tote Bag Program, we began distribution of our Pantry Totes in March 2010. This modified version of our original Tote Bag provides bags with jars of our homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookie mix, potholders, cookbooks, colored pencils, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and $20 Kroger gift cards to families utilizing five local food pantries, SEM, CAIN, MEAC, Inter Parish Ministry and the YWCA/Eastern Area Food Pantry.
These totes are primarily supplemental to our Tote Bag Program, and therefore the number of distributions varies depending on our financial situation.
Picture Me Home Program
Volunteers interested in helping with photo shoots should contact our Family Portrait Program Director, Lois Kratohvil, at email@example.com. In addition, we continually accept donations of new and gently used 5×7 picture frames for our families.
Bake It Forward was created after Amy and Emma won a $5000 grant for Bake Me Home from the Sodexo Foundation. They were so moved by the experience that they wanted to share it with other kids. This was the beginning of our Bake Me Home Summer Service Grants. Kids in entering grades 2-9 apply for summer grants of $100 each for a charity of their choice serving children in Ohio. Each applicant must perform a summer service project for a charity that benefits children. Amy and Emma then choose three winners and present an award at a ceremony at The Duke Energy Children’s Museum. Our winners also each receive a “Bake It Forward” t-shirt and a jar of “Bake Me Home” Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. This program is designed to encourage kids to be creative and get involved with other organizations in the community, furthering our mission of “promoting volunteerism.”
Applications for our 2014 grants will be due in September. Please check back later for a link to the on-line application.
Anyone with questions can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our past winners:
NEW CINCINNATI EXPANSION FOR THIS PROGRAM!
We are thrilled to announce that we are now including Fisher House in our Bake Me BACK Home programming. Fisher House is “a home away from home” for patients and families of patients receiving medical care at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center (there are 47 Houses nationally). Supporting these patients and their families is an honor for us. We are not only providing them with fresh baked cookies, and jars of mix to bake more, but we are able to offer this as an additional hands on volunteer opportunity for all of those who support our mission.
Donations to support our Fisher House Program or to send cookies to a service member overseas can be made here on our website, or mailed to:
Bake Me Home, P.O. Box 30082, Cincinnati, OH 45230