It's tough for a kid to make a difference. The world often counts our hands out, because we're young and still learning. But I've found the power of youth is giant if only we put our hands to work.
"Dear fellow children, we must work, not wait. Not just the politicians and world leaders. We all need to contribute." ~Malala Yousafzai
This quote inspired me to create my own non-profit bakery in 2014 as a way to support people and causes dear to my heart.
I've baked for fun since I was very small. My favorite Saturdays would often begin with my mixer, a mountain of flour, some sugar, and a bunch of curiosity. One summer morning, back in 2014, when there wasn't a spot of space in the pantry to store the muffins, cookies, and cakes I'd been baking, I asked my parents to drag an old wooden desk to the curb outside my house. I figured I could sell my baked goods and help raise money and awareness for the causes and organizations I love. In my school, home, and church, I've watched my parents, teachers, and other adults volunteer stocking food pantries, working in homeless shelters, ministering in prisons, and donating their time in service of our community. Real heroes, everyday people volunteering in my community, inspired me to get out and lend a hand to others. My bakery started that day and our neighborhood curb became a busy place on Saturdays and Sundays. Each baking day, I decided to work on behalf of a new cause. I've baked in support of Feed Fayetteville, The Susan G. Komen Foundation, The American Heart Association, The Seven Hills Homeless Shelter, Arkansas and Mercy Children's Hospitals, EOD Warrior Foundation, and Louisiana Floor Relief. It makes me feel whole knowing my neighbors, close to home and far away, are warm, safe, and nurtured.
In 2015, after summer was over, and school had begun, the focus of my bakery turned to helping students in my community. One of my role models, Malala, speaks often about girls access to education. Going to school and having the opportunity to continue on to college is something I've always expected I'd do. Because of so many factors, students in my own community can't have the same expectations. Access to education after high school isn't easy for everyone. Scholarships and money become very important, so many deserving students can't find the money needed to go. I decided to turn a portion of my baking time and dollars to providing scholarships to graduating students in my community who've demonstrated a dedication to service. My idea was to send service-minded, deserving students up the ladder of higher education in hopes each one turns back and lends a hand up the ladder to the next. Students apply for the scholarship established through the Fayetteville Public Schools by writing an essay detailing their service work. Reading about the amazing work young people are doing in my community was a gift and an inspiration. Paying it forward in this way ensures goodness multiplies and provides those that give of themselves the opportunities to offer their work and spirit to as many as possible.
This fall I'm excited to continue the work of supporting education in my community by partnering with the Fayetteville Education Foundation to establish The Gable's Bakery Keystone Fund. The fund will be invested in the Foundation's endowment generating income that will distributed annually through grants that provide a strategic investment for lifting up Fayetteville Public School's most vulnerable students. To learn more.....click here.
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While school's back in session, Gable's baking schedule is limited, however she continues to raise money for the causes and organizations near and dear to her heart. Click here to donate to Gable's latest cause through her "virtual" bakery.