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How to launch baked relief in your community

building connections baked relied

What is #bakedrelief?

Baked Relief is a movement started by Danielle aka Digella after severe flooding devastated parts of Queensland in 2011. The idea was born to start baking some relief for the State Emergency Services volunteers who were sandbagging around Brisbane.

Word spread on Facebook and Twitter and offers of help and baking came rushing in. It has grown beyond imagining since then and Baked Relief is now in the hands a small team of “admin” who run baked relief behind the scenes, hundreds of home cooks and bakers and is reaching people who are recovering from natural disasters and the communities helping them.

 Baked Relief doesn’t belong to anyone, but everyone.

Baked Relief has evolved from the first plate of food Danielle brought to her local SES and is continuing to grow to help many families affected by disasters.

How can you help?

You can help in two main ways.

1. Follow @bakedrelief on twitter or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bakedrelief and respond to calls for help listed on the pages DURING DISASTERS OR PROJECTS.

2. Start Baked Relief in your community or town.

 How to start Baked Relief in your community or town?

We have found over the years as Baked Relief has grown and reached many areas the needs of each community may be different. The best people to know what can help and how to identify those who would enjoy some Baked Relief cheer are the people who actually live in the community.

Starting Baked Relief in your community is rewarding and can sometimes be challenging. When you see the joy in someone’s face as you hand over a lovingly made baked treat you know exactly why we do what we do!

We generally cannot arrange transport out of your town. We don't have the knowledge of the town or community like you do. Use your networks to help with this.

So here are the steps:

1. Send us a message at bakedrelief on facebook to let us know where you are and what your plan is so we can make sure there isn’t another group in your community which you can join.

2. Identify people in your community or outside your community who would benefit from baked relief.  

Ask friends on facebook, church, school if they know of people in your community directly who could benefit from Baked Relief and if they are willing to deliver baked relief to these people.

3. Start a ‘group’ on facebook.  

  • You can see instructions on how to set this up easily here https://www.facebook.com/about/groups When setting up the privacy of your group it is best to keep it public or as easily accessable to everyone as possible and you may find some more lovely people really hoping to help as well.
  •  Add facebook friends to your group, they can always add themselves too.
  •  Send the link to your group to your friends on facebook and encourage others to do the same.
  •  Send the link to us at Baked Relief so we can promote your page if you would like us to.
  •  Share information and details and photos on your page.
  • Set up an event for your Drop off day of baked relief.

 4. Contact friends who you think may like to be involved with baked relief or know someone who would.

5. You could contact local businesses you think may be able to donate some goods or their time to assist.

6. You could contact your local media to let them know what you’re doing so others can get involved and spread even more Baked Relief love.

7. Get baking!

NB: If the baked relief you launch could be an ongoing project during time of disaster we can set you up with your own baked relief franchise!

This has successfully been done in the South Burnett. See HERE https://www.facebook.com/pages/Baked-Relief-South-Burnett/465187850248460

And in Western Australia where the group grows from strength to strength! HERE https://www.facebook.com/bakedreliefwa/  

  • There are lots of things you can make. Think of School Fetes and Bake Stalls, those items are great and generally travel well.
  • If you need to store something for a longer time, or if it needs to travel a long way Anzac biscuits can be a great option, also fruit cake has a long shelf life.
  • Pack your treats into sturdy containers. Chinese containers can be purchased new at most grocery stores cheaply and make great storage for your treats. We often get asked how they should be presented. A little note of support is always nice, a little ribbon maybe. Just think of how you would like to receive a little sweet box.

8. If someone cannot bake, maybe they can distribute the love out to those special people who need some cheer or make some handmade cards to attach to the containers..

9. Know that you are doing a great thing for your community. Pay it forward!

Launching Baked Relief During a Crisis

There are two main stages baked relief can benefit during natural disaster crisis. 

1. Preparation / readiness

2. Clean up / Recovery

 

Preparation / Readiness

Baked Relief can be launched to help feed SES Volunteers, people assisting the SES, people assisting home owners and the home owners themselves. Bake items such as biscuits, brownies, savoury muffins and sweet muffins. Things which are individual servings which don't require any work to just grab and run. Consider packing some individual kits in takeaway food containers. A few biscuits, a slice of cake and a small muffin so the volunteer can just grab one on the go and open it later when their hands are clean and they are ready to sit and have a break. 

Clean up / Recovery

Continue as above with items for SES Volunteers during clean up.

If longer term assistance is needed get together and look at what is needed.


1. Who do you plan to target? And are they willing to accept help. 

2. Rally your team of helpers. Work out what skills and equipment you have.

3. You could arrange one or two nights in the first week of clean up for families to come into the community hall or similar to enjoy a meal together. Those who are able to cook do some big batches and bring them in. Invite people to come with their families. Arrange some games for the children. You would be surprised how great these nights can be for people to just leave the house / clean up for an hour or so to have a chat.  Even better if the community hall has showers for people to duck in and have a clean up if they have lost water / power. So you could put a call out for soaps and individual shampoo and conditioner bottles (hotel style) 

3. At that event ask people if they would like some ongoing meals and get ideas of family numbers. 

4. It is always best to use local suppliers. Baked Relief and Givit may be able to help with supplies into town if the access is cut and supplies are low. Contact Givit HERE and Baked Relief HERE

5. Health and safety issues (because people may bring this up) the fine print can be found here as you would fall outside of any legislation. Read about it HERE 

 

Other ideas and tips

Hold a bake sale to raise money for ingredients or to provide gift cards to families in need. IGA works well to support the small business and your community.

 

Baked Relief is about rapidly empowering individuals to contribute.  Never under estimate the power of a cupcake!

We would love you to send us a message to let us know you have launched your baked relief in your community so we can promote it through our page here. It is so inspiring to know that Australia is full of everyday, ordinary heroes.