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Cookies With Superpowers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ashley Sohngen   
Monday, 30 May 2011 07:28

Cookies With Superpowers
A Cincinnati super-mom and her twin daughters traded in their capes for aprons and started an organization to help local families in need. 
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For the girls at Bake Me Home, aprons are the new capes when it comes to being a super hero. Since volunteering at a homeless family shelter three years ago, Alison Bushman and her 7-year-old twin daughters Amy and Emma haven't stopped serving.

At the twins' birthday each year, the girls didn’t ask for the latest doll house, toy or clothes. They would ask their friends to donate food for the Bethany House Shelter. The girls would then use the donated food to make breakfast for the families at the shelter. This stirred the perfect ingredients together to create “Bake Me Home.”

They realized how simple a jar of cookie mix is, but how big of an impact that batch of cookies can make on a family in need. It gives mothers and children an opportunity to spend time together and experience the joy of baking. Cookies with superpowers!

"I am incredibly blessed to be surrounded by wonderful volunteers that are helping me build an organization with my daughters that impacts our community in such a positive way,” says Alison. “Not only are we able to provide joyful programming to struggling moms and kids, but we are helping others make volunteering a regular part of their lives."

Another hero in the organization is the Board Chair, Amy Zimmerman. "I learned about Bake Me Home when I was driving with my two children from dropping my husband, their father, off at the airport on Father's Day for a business trip," says Zimmerman. Her family was sad they weren't able to spend the special day with their dad.

The family just happened to be tuned into Q102 in the car, and they heard the Bushman family being interviewed on-air. "I was so humbled and inspired by their passion for their work and how they were making a difference through the simple acts of baking cookies and taking family photos,” recalls Zimmerman. “While I was thinking I should sign up to help, my 10-year-old daughter Lillie said, 'Let's volunteer for Bake Me Home.'" The lessons and experiences gained from being a hero and participating in this organization, especially with a mother-daughter duo, are infinite.

Bake Me Home has three programs:
1. The Tote Bag Program that includes original Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, baking supplies, toothbrushes, toothpaste and a $20 gift to Kroger. This is rewarded to moms and kids making the move out of homeless and battered women's shelters in the city.

2. The Family Portrait Program that provides a free 5x7 portrait to families at food pantries and homeless and battered women's shelters throughout Cincinnati.

3. The Bake me BACK Home Program is for military members overseas. Two dozen of their cookies are sent to a military member serving overseas for a $30 donation. Approximately half of the donation covers the cost of the cookie supplies, and the rest helps to fund programs for families in shelters.

"What's great about Bake Me Home is that there are volunteer opportunities for all ages and for families," says Zimmerman. And there are lots of ways you can help and get involved. The most popular are their Cookie Mix Assembly Sessions. At these sessions, volunteers fill jars with cookie mix. “Volunteers as young as 4 are welcome with an adult," says Alison.

"Our cookie jar filling sessions are a wonderful way for parents to teach volunteerism and giving back to the community," says Zimmerman.

You can also lend a hand to their Family Portrait Program, and no experience is necessary. "We also use volunteers to deliver tote bags to agencies, bake cookies for special events, and help with administrative and fundraising projects," says Alison.

You can have some summer fun while participating as well. "We are partnering with Camp Coney at Coney Island this summer," says Alison. "Campers participating in all 17 of their kids camps are asked to bring an item to donate for our Tote Bags. We are also planning a fun event for kids and parents to do together in August right before school starts again," she says.

To learn more and get involved, visit Bake Me Home online at www.bakemehome.com or on facebook at facebook.com/bakemehome. Sign up for their e-mail newsletter on the home page of their Web site to see how you can be a part of changing our city and world – one batch at a time!



PHOTO CREDITS
Photographer: Neysa Ruhl Photography

Ashley Sohngen -

Ashley Sohngen is Cincy Chic's photography intern. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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