I am a rising sophomore in high school and want to create an extracurricular that would be time consuming and major in my life. I love volunteering but hate feeling constricted by pre-existing orgs. I also really hate those non profit orgs that are created by high schoolers that are ended as soon as they are admitted into college because they didn’t actually care about helping the community but just getting into schools.
I have interests in baking and try to bake every week and although my skills are not too great at the moment, I am working on growing them. I also love volunteering but want to expand beyond the typical volunteering once or twice a week at non profits. However, I also don’t want to create an empty non profit, so maybe creating an initiative???
Basically, what I want to do is an extracurricular that involves helping the community (preferably something smaller that will later grow its reach outside my local area) but also includes my hobby of baking. I was thinking of doing something with elementary school kids since I normally volunteer in that age range. Any ideas??
If it were me, I would not start off by trying to create a baking-related volunteer experience. Instead I would get a paying job that involves baking. This job would serve to quickly increase my baking skills, while at the same time serve as an EC (many students forget that jobs are ECs too, and there is some anecdotal evidence that college AOs are putting increasing value on jobs vs volunteer positions.) Later, once I had experience from working a baking job, I could still create a baking volunteer opportunity if I wanted.
This sounds like a great idea but there aren’t any places near me where I could get a baking job, especially without being their family member or any real prior baking experience. I know some people like to sell baked goods tho. Maybe I could donate the profits to a cause? But that sounds really basic. I would prefer to do something a little out of the box but I think I may be trying to do something that doesn’t even exist??
You are over-thinking this. If you like to bake, then bake. Watch some Youtube tutorials (there are tens of thousands of them) to improve your technique- pick cakes, cookies, bread, whatever you want to try. It doesn’t need to be an official “EC” for it to be valuable for you.
If you want to help the community, do that. Volunteer at an assisted living facility as an activities aid-- suggest baking, but also work with the residents on arts and crafts, chair yoga, whatever they are doing. Or continue working with kids- your local YMCA probably has a kitchen and you can suggest a cookie exchange as part of the regular programming.
Your baking interests do not need to become a full-on “EC/Community Service”.
Interesting responses from others.
My immediate reaction to this post was: bake bread and donate it to the local food bank, and then try to coordinate it as a regular gig, recruiting some others to help you. I think food pantries would take fresh baked bread? If not, is there a local women’s shelter or other kind of community group who would benefit from donated baked goods?
Check your local laws about donating baked items. Some states have strict laws over home baked goods because of the possibility of allergies and cross contamination. We have family in a state that they aren’t allowed to bring homemade food even into school for class parties.
This is actually a really good idea! I think there are some local food pantries that I could bring some baked goods to. Thanks for your input!
Thanks, I do think I need to stop over stressing the idea. I will definitely look into trying those other ideas you mentioned.
You need to be careful if you plan to sell your baked goods. Many states require that those selling food products prepare them in a health department licensed commercial kitchen. There are also guideline for sales of food. You need to check to see what the guidelines are. Do not do this without adhering to health department directives.
@Lindagaf our local food banks do not accept home baked goods. They have no way to know what’s actually in them. They accept only pre-packaged baked goods, or those from a commercial bakery.
As far as a job baking, does your local grocery store have a bakery? That would be one avenue to look into. Or does Subway still make their bread daily? (Obviously it’s been awhile since I’ve been to Subway…)
If your school or community allows homemade baked goods to be donated/sold, then perhaps there could be a weekly baked goods sale (with others besides yourself contributed baked goods) and then the proceeds could be donated to a rotating charity? If, for instance, this was started at your school, I could see how it could become sustainable once you graduated if underclassmen continued it (and I could see high schoolers miss not having homemade baked goods every week).
That is very true. I am thinking of donating to a local hospital since they seem to be pretty lenient with the foods being brought in and already have connections there.
How about teaching others how to bake?
I’m thinking of donating them to hospital workers. It’s not really a charity though so I feel like I’m not making that much of a change or difference by doing so, which is something I was interested in. Maybe I could try to donate the baked goods to other first responders? The one thing I’m worried about is getting the first responders annoyed?? I feel like bringing baked goods to the same groups of people frequently could make them annoyed and baked goods aren’t necessarily the healthiest.
I’m actually thinking of selling them at a farmer’s markets now. It’s a lot less limiting than selling goods at school or other orgs and I can donate the profits to a cause I’m invested in like you suggested. Thanks!
Again…they might accept your donation but they probably won’t be using it. They have no quality control over what’s in your baked products.
Farmer’s market is a good idea.
Honestly, I think the most important thing is to work on your baking. What do you like to bake?
the baking itself can be an EC.
ps I liked your refreshing post about “empty non-profits…”
Cupcakes are my favorite so far. Can I actually list baking as an EC if it’s just a hobby? I know baking doesn’t have to be an EC but I feel like baking is one of my hobbies that I would actually want to take more seriously.
You should list it as an EC and maybe write an essay- could main or supplementary. Enjoy it!
Thank you so much for your help!