During the BlogHer Food conference back in September, I had the pleasure to attend a fantastic panel titled, "How Food Blogs Can Save the World." In it, panelists discussed how food bloggers everywhere can create, promote and participate in blogging events that go beyond the confines of your online world and actually effect positive change in the world. Of course there was Pim, whose Menu for Hope fundraiser is in its sixth year. Each year, bloggers procure and donate prizes that go up for auction, and all proceeds from raffle sales go to the World Food Program. I myself have donated a prize (and will do so again this year), and have purchased an embarrassing amount of raffle tickets as well. I have also been the lucky recipient of significant prizes, so you can be sure I'll be bidding again this year. Last year, Menu for Hope raised over $62,000 for the cause.
And then there was the lovely Lydia, who started up a program called Drop In & Decorate. The concept was simple: Get a group of people together to make and decorate cookies, and donate them to a local nonprofit agency supporting basic human needs in your own community. They are close to donating their 10,000th cookie.
This is activism as it should be: Easy, fun and rewarding for both the people participating and the community it serves. And if you want to organize a group of friends to bake and decorate cookies for your local cause, now is the time. Visit the Drop In & Decorate site to learn how you can get coupons for baking products and cookie cutters.
I have tremendous respect for people like Lydia and Pim, and for the lesson they are teaching: It does not take a Herculean effort to make a difference. Sometimes it's something small, like bidding on a prize or slathering icing on a sugar cookie. But when that act is repeated thousands of times by many individuals, it adds up in a big way.