Raising 'Bread' For Charity

Fund-raiser helps build new homes in Nicaragua

Raising Bread For Charity

Raising Bread For Charity

Merle Dyck helped bake up a successful fund-raiser in her hometown of Elkford—a coal-mining town of about 3,500 people in British Columbia.

Merle heard about the nonprofit organization Bridges to Community from co-workers. Employees from the 11 branches of Falkins Insurance Group in the Kootenays of British Columbia are working to raise enough money to build 100 homes in developing countries within five years.

Merle and her officemates wanted to help raise money for two employees to participate in the program.

Cyndal Dobson and Deanna Lacasse were chosen to go to Nicaragua because of essays they had written describing why they wanted to take part in the charity. The co-workers needed to raise $4,000 to build a 16- by 20-foot concrete shell for a home and $2,500 to cover expenses and flights.

Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in the world; most farm laborers live on less than $1 per day.

"Some recipients have been on a waiting list for years," shares Merle. "And they have to make monthly payments on the home once it has been built."

This company knows how to put the "fun" in fund-raising! For example, the CEO had to name each of the 100 employees during a company retreat. He then paid $5 for each name he missed.

Inspired by this idea, Merle and her co-workers came up with their own creative ways to raise money.

"Another office coordinated a cookbook, which we all contributed recipes to and sold," she explains. "Our office held a coffee, muffin and used-book sale where we raffled off a Busy Bakers Big Basket of treats."

Merle says she and her co-workers were overwhelmed by the support of their small community, which raised $600 toward the trip.

In addition to the money from Merle's office, the rest of the company raised enough for Cyndal and Deanna's trip. They built two homes in Nicaragua and were able to contribute additional money toward 15 more homes.

"We built homes with a future for them, and in return we gained a better understanding of how truly blessed we are," Deanna and Cyndal said in a thank-you note to co-workers.

Among the group’s favorite recipes for fund-raisers are Morning Glory Muffins, Cinnamon-Raisin Loaves, White Chocolate Chip Muffins and Sunshine Muffins.