Thank You, Austin!

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Every time we have a sale for Austin Bakes we are reminded of the power of community. Austin Bakes is a 100% volunteer powered event. If it weren’t for the hard work and generosity of everyone involved, from the organizers to the bakers to the folks taking home cupcakes on sale day, we simply could not do what we do.

Yesterday we raised over $2,000 for Doctors Without Borders. It’s more than many individuals are able to contribute on their own, but by working together with this amazing community of people we were all able to make a small difference in the lives of others.

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We’d like to take a moment to thank our wonderful site leaders, Jennifer Cheng, Kristina Wolter, and Lisa Rawlinson for running our three locations. You all kicked butt yesterday – making our sale a big success despite a few rain drops.

We’d also like to thank our team of organizers. Jessica Forkner, Mary Helen Leonard, Kathryn Hutchinson, and Kathy Phan! Their work over the past weeks made everything possible.

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A special thanks goes out to Jessica Forkner and her staff at Crema Bakery & Cafe. Crema not only hosted a hugely successful sale location yesterday, but also donated a portion of the cafe’s proceeds to the cause. Jessica’s generosity and hard work played a huge part in the success of this event. Thank you, Jessica! Thank you, Crema!

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We are also very grateful to our other two host locations, Make It Sweet and Nate’s. Make It Sweet continues to be an incredible resource to the bakers in our community and a favorite location for Austin Bakes. Bakers, be sure and check out the awesome classes Make It Sweet hosts regularly. They are not to be missed.

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This was our first time having a sale at Nate’s in downtown Buda. Thank you, Nate’s for sharing your venue with us!

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The numbers shown above were tallied up yesterday immediately following the sale. Our online donation page will be open until this evening, ready to collect any last-minute donations.

As of this morning, we’ve raised a grand total of $2,136 for Austin Bakes for Haiti!

Thank you, Austin!

Austin Bakes for Haiti – November 5th

Save the date! We are putting together a city-wide bake sale to help raise funds for Doctors Without Borders in the wake of Hurricane Matthews devastation in Haiti.

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The sale will be going on at three locations on Saturday, November 5 from 10am to 2pm. As always, we’ll need your help to bake goodies, run sale tables, spread the word, and of course, shop for delicious goodies.

Sign-up to bake for any of the Austin Bakes for Haiti sale locations using the links below:


Join our Thunderclap Campaign & Social Media Street Team!

Thunderclap is a snazzy new social media tool that will automatically schedule a promotional post on your own account to help spread the word about our sale. For more details, and to join our campaign, click here.

Sign up here to be a part of our social media street team. Street Team members will be contacted by email for future Thunderclap campaigns and will be provided with details, messaging, graphics, and other tools to help us promote Austin Bakes for Haiti.


More Ways to Spread the Word!

Help us harness the power of the internet by sharing information about this bake sale and the various ways people can help:

The Art of Packaging Baked Goods

They say that you taste with your eyes, so it stands to figure that the prettier an item is, the better it will sell at a bake sale. Packaging your goodies in an attractive way not only helps get them off the table as quickly as possible, it helps generate larger donations from bake sale patrons.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Large fragile treats, like frosted cupcakes or whole pies should be boxed up. Looks for bakers’ boxes at your local bake supply shop. Boxes with clear windows are perfect for bake sales because they let buyers get a sneak peek at your beautiful baked goods.

Small items do best when sold in batches. Try packing up cookies, cake balls, or granola bars by the half-dozen or bakers’ dozen. Plain looking items, like loaves of banana bread or batches of granola can be dolled up by colorful wrappings and bags. Try embellishing your goodies with pretty tags, labels, ribbons and bakers’ twine.

Gateway Nut Free Granola- The Kid Can Cook

Photo by M. Fandrich

Labeling your goodies properly is really important for a few reasons. First off, people want to know what they are buying, so adding a descriptive title to your treats can help entice sales. Food allergies and special diets are also an important thing to consider. If your recipe includes a common allergen, like peanuts, consider adding a note on your label letting folks know.

If you’ve made a recipe that friendly to a certain diet or allergy, that’s a great selling point. Be sure to mention if your donation is gluten-free, dairy free, nut-free, low-sugar, vegan, paleo, etc.

Need some packaging inspiration for the big sale? We’ve collected some tutorial and printable links to help.

Downloads & Printables

Packaging Tips and Tutorials

Check out even more fun packaging ideas on the Austin Bakes: Packaging Ideas Pinterest Board!

We also recommend Make It Sweet at 9070 Research Blvd., Set 203, Austin, TX 78758 for a local business with plenty of packaging and baking supplies.


This post was originally published by Mary Helen Leonard on November 2013 for the Austin Bakes for Austin fund raiser.

It’s a Baking Party!

We’d like to invite you to a live baking party, from each of our kitchens, all day long this Friday, November 13.

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Here’s how it works:

  • Friday as you prep, bake, and package your goodies for Saturday’s charity bake sale to help Syrian refugees, take photos and share them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We want to see what you’re making, and we’ll share them to help get people excited about what’s in store.*
  • Use the hashtag #AustinBakes for all your posts.
  • Tag Austin Bakes on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Check the hashtag for what others are doing, and interact!

This event is all about community after all. Let’s party, y’all.

*By participating in the Baking Party on Friday, you agree to allow us to repost your photos on our social media channels and website to help promote this and future bake sales. All photos will be credited.


Follow, Share, Tweet, Link: Make this thing go viral!

Austin Bakes for Refugees: Where the Money Goes

Photo courtesy Nathan Russell Photography

Austin Bakes is excited to announce that we will be renewing our partnership with AmeriCares for Austin Bakes for Refugees.

Our goal is to raise $6,000 for humanitarian aid for refugees at the bake sales or through online giving by November 14.

Why AmeriCares?

AmeriCares has a proven track record of success supporting disaster relief and is consistently ranked highly for their transparency and accountability, with 97% of all expenses going directly to support relief programs. For every $1 donated to AmeriCares, $20 worth of aid can be delivered to the region, including primary care medicines, chronic disease care medications, intravenous fluids and nerve gas antidote (read more about their work for refugees on their site). AmeriCares has been working on the ground in the United States since the 1980s, providing medical aid, relief supplies and health care in crisis situations and where there are long term needs for support. Their operational model is time-tested, and the organization has won national recognition for its efficient use of funds and successful humanitarian work. AmeriCares has the infrastructure in place to accept a large gift from Austin Bakes for Refugees and to use the funds efficiently where they’re needed most. The organization is a 501(c)3 non-profit, so gifts towards their efforts tax-deductible. (More about that in a moment.) They have an extensive, transparent record of their financial information, including annual audits published online.

How to Give

Businesses and individuals supporting Austin Bakes for Refugees can give to the AmeriCares via cash, check and our online giving page. Each bake sale location has committed lead volunteers who will be responsible for managing individual gifts and ensuring that they are accounted for at the end of the fundraiser. We have a game plan in place to track donations, report them transparently, and to make sure every penny ends up safely in AmeriCares’ hands. Austin Bakes for Refugees is a donation-based bake sale. That means instead of listing prices on each item, we’ll look to customers to decide the value of their purchase and support relief efforts accordingly. We’ll accept cash and checks made out to AmeriCares at the various bake sale locations in and around Austin. Supporters who wish to make a gift by credit card may do so at the Austin Bakes for Refugees FirstGiving page. We’ll be able to make change and break some large bills at the bake sale next Saturday, but we are asking customers who are able to please bring exact change or a check made out to the AmeriCares. Here is detailed information about our handling procedures for gifts:

  • Cash: all cash collected before and during the bake sale will be combined into a money order, payable to AmeriCares, after the bake sale on Saturday,  May 23rd. We will give the money order, along with all checks, to AmeriCares that day. Donors who give cash will not receive a receipt for their personal gift, but they will be able to see how much cash we raised collectively when we report the amount on here our blog and on our FirstGiving online giving page.
  • Checks: should be made to “AmeriCares” with “Refugees” written in the memo line. We will keep a log on our FirstGiving page of all checks that we receive. That way, donors can be sure that we have received their gift and see how their contribution has increased our total fundraising. We will give all checks to AmeriCares on Monday, November 16. AmeriCares will deposit the checks and mail each donor a gift receipt for tax purposes.
  • Online: gifts in any amount can be made securely online at our FirstGiving page using a credit or debit card. Donors will receive two emails confirming their gift to AmeriCares: one immediately after their information has been received, and a second email confirming that their card was successfully charged for the gift. Donors can see their contribution on the Austin Bakes for Refugees FirstGiving page, and their support will count towards our overall goal to raise $10,000 for the Syrian civil conflict relief efforts. If your employer has a matching funds program, you’ll have to option to include that information when you donate.

Austin Bakes for Refugees: Locations Announced!

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Photo by Melissa Skorpil

On Saturday, November 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. stop by any of these locations around Austin to pick up some delicious baked goodies and support humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees at the same time. Use the links below to access the sign-up sheets to volunteer and sign up to bake!

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Spread the Word!

Help us harness the power of the internet by sharing information about this bake sale and the various ways people can help:

SAVE THE DATE: Austin Bakes for Refugees

Austin will be baking to help refugees on Saturday, November 14!

The images coming across the ocean of those displaced by the civil conflict in Syria have been incredibly moving and unsettling. It’s one of those scenarios that is heart-breaking to watch, and yet feels so complicated that it’s hard to know what to do other than to sit back and watch in horror. And yet, our community has not been one to just sit by passively. We do what we can, with what we have, and we give our best effort to help those who are in need. Sometimes those people are far away, and there are differences that seem stark until we look at our similarities: that we are all mothers or fathers or children or siblings or the love of somebody’s life. Sometimes those people are our neighbors. We know them personally or we know someone who knows them personally. Austin Bakes is all-inclusive. We see a need and our 100% volunteer effort carves out time and resources where we can, because we can. It’s as simple as that.

We’ll be announcing the details of the fundraiser in the coming days, and sign-up sheets to volunteer and bake will be available on Monday, October 19.

In the meantime, please help by spreading the word and encouraging your friends and family to follow us to help build our community and easily share the latest information about the sale:

We need your help to make this a successful fundraiser. The displaced people of Syria need your help.