GUEST POST by Gary Loewenthal from Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale
Vegan bake sales are a unique blend of fun, outreach, fundraising, and community:
- It's fun to see what everyone made, and to see customers enjoying your bake sale's tasty creations.
- Delicious vegan cookies, cupcakes, banana bread, and other baked goods can be a surprisingly effective outreach tool. Often one bite can change a skeptic's impression of vegan food, and melt away fears that it is boring or unsatisfying.
- Bake sales are a time-tested and popular fundraising technique.
- At a bake sale, you're likely to meet others in your community and swap recipes, and get a wonderful sense of community.
Each year, around the end of April and the beginning of May, groups all over the world hold vegan bake sales. Each participating group signs up on the WVBS web site, but has complete control over its bake sale, including what to sell and what to do with the proceeds. Anyone can participate. If you can't do it during the “official” week, you can do it as close that week as possible. That's it!
The WVBS provides great opportunities for family involvement. For example:
- You don't have to be an official group to hold a bake sale. Over the years, informal groups of friends, as well as kids on the front porch have organized successful bake sales as part of the WVBS.
- School clubs and classes have participated. One advantage of doing it this way is that you already have an excellent place to hold and advertise your bake sale- the school!
- Church, synagogue, mosque, or other religious groups can participate (and have participated) in the same fashion.
- Girl or boy scout troops- same deal!
- Moms and dads can help in all sorts of ways: serving food, decorating the bake sale table, handling the money at the bake sale, promoting, folding to-go boxes, taking pictures, and so forth.
- Family Meetup groups- for example, this year the NYC Vegetarian and Vegan Families Meetup group will be hosting a family vegan bake sale on April 27. Location TBD. Join meetup to stay posted.
The WVBS web site has tons of tips on how to have a great bake sale, from finding locations to connecting with bakers to getting the word out to setting prices. You probably will not find a more complete reference for bake sales.
- Bake something for it.
- See if you can get a local bakery to donate items.
- Help promote the bake sale.
- Volunteer to help out at the table.
I want to suggest one last very simple but crucial thing you can do to help out vegan bake sales and the WVBS. But first...
Bake sales are a great way for families to have fun and do good at the same time. With vegan bake sales specifically, you're helping to create a more peaceful and compassionate world. Other articles on this web site talk about the cruelty of dairy and eggs, so there's no need to repeat that here. But one of the many disturbing aspects of dairy and egg production-- and this applies to organic, free-range, and small operations, too-- is that it destroys animals' families. Baby calves are torn from their mothers on dairy farms, and egg-laying hens are denied growing up with a mother (almost all come from industrial hatcheries and are shipped to their destinations). Cows and hens are often looked upon as the epitome of doting, tender mothers. By showing people the deliciousness of vegan baked goods, you're gently but perhaps quite convincingly opening their eyes to a kinder alternative. To a degree, vegan bake sales are families helping families.
And now for the final tip...if you don't have the time or other resources to organize or help out at a participating vegan bake sale, there is something else you can do, which is essential and very easy and enjoyable: Attend the nearest participating bake sale in your area, buy some tasty treats, contribute to a worthy cause, and support your local, talented, hard-working, creative vegan bakers!
BIG THANK YOU to Gary Loewenthal for organizing such an important worldwide event!
NOTE: If you are in the New York City area, the NYC Vegetarian and Vegan Families Meetup group will be hosting a family vegan bake sale on April 27. Location TBD. Join meetup to stay posted.
Join the Sixth Annual Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale on April 26 through May 4, 2014