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June 2, 2007

Time to Get Baking

Catherine N., a student from Weaton, IL, wrote this week's "Extra Ink."

   Not sure what you'll be doing with your extra time this summer? Would you like to make time to help out hungry kids? Regardless of your current summer plans, the Great American Bake Sale is a fun event you don't want to miss. Right now people all over America are teaming up to battle childhood hunger - by baking. Simply bake, sell your delectable creations, and send your funds to Share Our Strength, who will pass it on to charities whose purpose is to feed hungry children.

   Sadly, in a country with such abundant wealth, one fifth of children live in poverty. In addition, if you were to visit a soup kitchen, one in every four people standing in line would be a kid. Childhood hunger in America is a reality, and as teenagers, it is our duty to help our fellow youth.

Tips for Holding a Great American Bake Sale

. Register online at GreatAmericanBakeSale.org. Register sooner rather than later. The Great American Bake Sale organization will need time to mail you a poster.

. Speaking of posters, it's a good idea to make them. Although you'll receive a poster in the mail, extra posters don't hurt. Plus, if you write "Feeding Hungry Children in America" in big letters, maybe people won't ask you if you're raising money to go to Great America (and yes, this did actually happen to me).

. Your bake sale will work best as a team effort. Get a group of friends together and assign tasks to each group member. Several people can take control of the baking, and others can make posters and run the sales.

. You can host your bake sale at a park, church, community center, your neighborhood, or any other place you can think of. Just make sure to acquire permission where necessary.

. Collect cool recipes from your friends and family, or even online.

. Start organizing the details far in advance! You don't want to be panicking at the last minute because you don't have enough baked goods or your friends are busy on the day you were planning to sell.

. Get creative. Do you have a friend or group of friends who are musically talented? Why not have live music performances at your bake sale?

. Be polite during the sale. Nobody will want to buy your cookies if you're annoying them.

. Be ready to explain what the Great American Bake Sale is all about. Read the statistics about childhood hunger at GreatAmericanBakeSale.org so you can inform your customers. Practice explaining the Great American Bake Sale and why you're participating so you'll sound professional when asked.

. Have fun!

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