Photo Reportage of our Fun (!?!) Family Fundraiser

Boy making faceWe've had a blast with family fundraisers... when the boys were younger.  When I proposed the idea this time, I had hoped for a more positive initial response!  But once they got cookin', they got grinnin'!

42 home-baked cakes later, our French cooking boys financed a Kenyan female entrepreneur with a micro-fianance loan, involved friends and neighbors and even the school...and had fun!

Enjoy our photo reportage of baking boys (and the one girl who helped).  Click here for our free downloads:  flyer samples, planning charts,...

The Inspiration        

our Opportunity international entrepreneur


Tanzanian school girls jumproping
Meet Edith Zainabu (name changed), Kenyan entrepreneur and single mother committed to providing an education for her young daughter.
Ms. Zainabu motivated us to raise $650 dollars through cake baking to help her grow her business. We worked through Opportunity International, a reputed microfinance organization, to identify and fill her need.
  In our home, kids’ defiance creeps up on us. One day, I wake up and the children are saying, ‘No Mom” in force. I missed the telltale signs. There is the direct approach (“Answer, ‘Yes, Mom’”).  The real underlying issue is the lack of gratitude, the "I want more NOW."   The boys do have moments of gratitude. How can we tap into those positive attitudes?  How can we revive moments like the trip to Africa when we enjoyed playing with the school children and realized that education is a gift, not something to take for granted?  

Spreading the News


Family fundraising flyer sample


Frame of Fame with fundraising flyer

Boys putting fundraiser flyer in mailbox
The kids got enthused when they saw the plan (not the idea) and knew what was expected from them, how they'd hear “Well done.” I selected a micro-finance organization* and the boys chose the Kenyan entrepreneur we’d support. When our flyer came off the printer, the project became real. (Click on image to zoom)
  “Boys, check out the flyer and make comments.” Our boys raise funds by baking cakes to order. “Clients” become co-donors as they choose how much to pay for a cake, i.e. contribute to the cause. The flyer presents our mission, the organization and the boys’ services   We distributed flyers on Thursday to start strong on the weekend. “Orders” from neighbors even improved community relations. Mrs. ___’s’ grandchildren had been insulting our son. He rang at her door, explained the project and they ordered cakes to share with the grandkids!


Boy showing Kenya on atlas to friend



Order management system

The boys took ownership of “our” entrepreneur’s needs. “She wants to build up her hair salon in Nairobi: one more person working, one more swivel chair for the clients, another set of scissors…That’s a lot of money so she needs a loan. With the money from new customers, she’ll pay it back and then buy her daughter’s school stuff…they wear uniforms!”   Orders poured in. We set up a planning system to manage our resources: ingredients AND time and energy. Fewer cakes during the week because homework and beauty sleep remain non-negotiable. Orders, “process flow” (baking and delivery status), and receipts were tracked.    

Making the Dough


Boy cooking up cake

Junior high boys cooking

One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference  by Katie Smith-Milway and illustrated by Eugenia Fernandes
We keep an open house so many kids’ friends pass through the door. They got recruited to participate. Our kitchen welcomed primary school kids,...   junior high too-cool-guys, high-schoolers, and family friends to bake cakes. They returned home talking about the microfinance project and their families ordered cakes too.   Extra hands (non-cooking ones) were given the book One Hen to read. It’s Microfinance 101 for kids. “Erudite” high school guys even admitted to learning from Kojo’s story.


High school boys cooking



High School science kids cooking

I loved the time spent in the kitchen. Instead of having the boys rush off to computer games or stick communication devices in their ears so that they can’t hear us, we talked, learned and laughed together.   Cooking "chez nous" (at our home) is fun. Every cake was a team effort. Try counting the number of hands! (If you ate one of our cakes, have no fear. Rule n°1: every good cook washes hands.) The high school science buddies practiced their exact measuring techniques.    


Boy making chocolate chips



Mom and daghter having fun cooking



Cooking double batches of cake

Creative cooking tips reinforced the fun. Boys AND girls of all ages loved to chip the chocolate and powder the almonds the Home Is Fun way. (Read more on chipping tips in this recipe.)   We always made double batches, in theory so that there might be leftovers for the cooks. Yet during our two week baking stint, we baked for others. The boys’ favorite order was from a woman who bought them a cake to eat!

"Well Done!"


Boys delivering goods for fundraiser

Thanks to our entrepreneur
Cake delivery = an opportunity for gratitude and affirmation. God loves a cheerful giver. My kids do too! They were thrilled when a client/donor gave with largesse. “Remember this wonderful feeling. That’s what being generous is about.”   42 cakes—120 eggs, 20 sticks of butter, 4 kilos (8 lbs) of flour and sugar—later, the project raised $650 to fund our entrepreneur’s loan via Opportunity International. Our family gained in intimacy, made memories, and expanded our hearts.  We wrote Ms. Zainabu a thank you note!    
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