Thursday, March 31, 2011

Toronto Bakes for Japan Fundraiser

Remember bake sales? When your class at school needed to raise money for a field trip or something, and everyone went home and asked their moms to make cookies or cupcakes so they could bring them in for the bake sale..? 

This is that, only on a grand global scale. The very simple and lovely concept of lots of regular busy people pitching in what they can and coming together to help people who need it. I love a good bake sale, and I really love this idea. There's something fantastically grassroots-y about bake sales in general and this event in particular - it started as just someone who wanted to make a difference, asking other people if they would help. And now there are 6 venues across Toronto who are hosting this fundraising event, and every time I check the website the list of people involved has grown. 

I've never been to Japan, although I'd love to go. Japan has held a strong place in my imagination and for almost 20 years now I've been enjoying Japanese films and animation, as well as novels and travel memoirs. The book that started it all of was called "Ghosts" by Morio Kita - I read it in high school and loved it. Then came "Kitchen" by Banana Yoshimoto. Both were a bit morbid, but so incredibly beautiful. Nature was a strong theme, as was history. These and other pieces have left me with an image of a country simultaneously so full of tradition and so modern it's practically the future. In love with nature and technology at the same time. Maybe it's because I'm a Libra, but there's something really compelling about that kind of balance of extreme opposites.

Anyways, one day I plan to visit Japan. And when I do, I want to have a little feeling of pride that when they needed help in a way we can't even begin to imagine, I did something. Maybe something small, but something.

Since I think it's been roughly half a decade since I baked anything, and I'm better at making a pretty picture than I am at making a cupcake, I thought that perhaps I could be helpful by capturing the event at the various venues...some fun candid shots, some yummy details - that kind of thing. I originally found out about it from an awesome event planner named Kristina Chau (Not Your Average Party), who will also be donating her expert services to the weekend. Plenty of people who aren't bakers have decided they still want to be helpers by donating their time, skills, or something for the auction. 

I'm proud of our city for doing this, and I'm proud to be part of a community who is taking simple steps for a good cause. If you know how to bake anything, or if you have time April 9th or 10th to help out in any way (even if it's just by coming out and buying cupcakes!), check out the website or email them to get involved.

Hope to see you there!

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