Baking Well Beyond Her Years

At age 10, this baker is having an impact in her community

Baking Well Beyond Her Years

Sabrina Shafer

When Sabrina Shafer realized how many of her friends' parents had lost their jobs and couldn't afford to live in the area any longer, she decided to do something for her community of Minooka, Illinois.

Because Sabrina loves to bake, the 10-year-old began selling cookies (including the Coconut Macaroons at right) on Saturday mornings at the local farmers market. She bakes all day Friday during the summer and gets up at 4 a.m. Saturday to finish her baking. Then, with the help of her brother Justin, Sabrina sets up her stand at 7 a.m.

Proceeds go to the local food pantry. Sabrina also donates to the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance Burn Camp.

"The food pantry helps 87 families weekly, and I figured that is a good place to start helping," says Sabrina. "The burn camp allows children who have been badly burned to spend time with other children like them. I learned about it from a firefighter at my school."

In addition to the farmers market, Sabrina has held bake sales to raise money for Thanksgiving dinners for local families and Christmas presents for needy area children, often using her allowance to buy extra supplies. To date, she has raised about $1,500.

This is one fifth-grader who knows the importance of helping out wherever you can.

"I go to school here, my friends live here and my community is important to me," Sabrina says. "If I help the families in my community, even if it's only through a bake sale, maybe other people will see how important it is to help others. Maybe then we will all be OK, and the goodness will spread to other towns."