Mia David of
Bake Sale for Better

In today’s world, watching or subscribing to the news can be daunting and worrying. We think it’s important to stay up-to-date with current events, but we also believe that sharing positive news is just as important. 

When Mia David isn’t working her day job as a Publicist, she’s working on her initiative in Toronto, Bake Sale for Better: a fundraising initiative she started to support social causes. Read on to find out how she fused people’s love for food, baking, and fundraising to make a positive and powerful impact in her community. 

How did Bake Sale for Better begin?

The last few months have put systemic inequality and racial injustice at the forefront of conversations. They have been a wake up call, and led to me wanting to find a way to effect change and tangible impact in my community beyond the fleeting news cycle.

At the same time, I noticed many people, including myself, turning to cooking and baking for fun over the last few months. I figured there was a way to make our collective kitchen time more meaningful by taking that opportunity to serve more than just food. 

Inspired by initiatives in the US like Bake Sale for Bail and Bakers Against Racism, combining food and fundraising for racial equality, I began to ideate Bake Sale for Better: a virtual fundraiser that taps home cooks to offer their treats in exchange for charitable donations.

While social causes and charitable donations are top-of-mind right now, it’s my hope that BSFB helps cultivate continuous engagement with and financial support for organizations committed to making the world a better place for everyone.

How does it work?

Home bakers volunteer the cost of ingredients, delivery, and their time to make treats that they then sell to their personal networks. Rather than asking for money, we ask for a minimum donation to be made directly to charities - buyers just need to show the donation receipt as proof of payment. Home bakers get to flex their skills in the kitchen and bake for family and friends (or friendly strangers!), people get amazing homemade treats, and charities get valuable attention and financial support.

So far we’ve been able to host sales in June and July, and now we’re gearing up for the next one in September!

What has been most challenging about this?

Other than trying to coordinate all of this during a pandemic, not to mention a lockdown, I think it’s naturally been a challenge to sustain momentum for the initiative and continue to keep social causes top-of-mind, especially now that restrictions have eased and people have less free time. There are moments I can feel my ego wanting to beat last month’s numbers or to have more bakers than before, but I remind myself that the goal isn’t to “beat” our previous milestones, but to ensure we’re having important conversations and putting important causes and charities in the spotlight.

Which communities are you targeting to help with this initiative?

The Black Lives Matter movement was really the catalyst for this, so it’s been important to keep supporting organizations that benefit Black communities. We’ve also lent our initiative to supporting Indigenous communities, another systemically oppressed demographic. This September, with the weather cooling in Toronto, we’ll be raising funds specifically for unhoused communities. Shelters have been severely impacted by COVID-19 so there are a lot of folks who don’t have safe and stable living situations.

We have an evolving shortlist of charities we share each month, but really people are free to give to whatever cause they feel passionate about. It’s really important to me that the bake sale contributes to a culture of social responsibility, and that may mean different things to different people!

What has surprised you the most about working on this? 

I’ve definitely been inspired and pleasantly surprised by everyone’s generosity - bakers’, buyers’, everyone involved in general. Bakers have really gone above and beyond their capacities to keep up with the demand from buyers. Similarly, buyers have been really generous and oftentimes will give more than asked! It’s been really heartwarming to see how much people want to help and do good.

You mentioned that there is a counterpart in the Philippines, could you tell us a bit more about this? 

My younger brother, Jaime David, and his partner, Kia Alampay, took the idea to the home businesses of Manila with Bake Sale for Better Philippines. They similarly noticed many of their entrepreneurial friends selling homemade treats and decided it would be a good way to rally support for causes like press freedom, funding for jeepney drivers, and supplying e-learning devices for marginalized schools.

They’ve had two bake sales so far and I’m so happy the idea has resonated well in Manila! Since they focus on budding businesses, it’s been really nice to see so much support for Filipino entrepreneurship and creativity, too.

What are some of your favorites from the baked goods you’ve seen so far? 

I really love that since we’re all home bakers, we get a glimpse into people’s favorite things to make for friends and family. All of the offerings have been amazing, but some of the unique ones have been mango coconut sticky rice, organic dog treats, and lots of vegan and gluten-free options. There’s great diversity in people’s diets here, which is a reflection of not only the multicultural city, but also people’s definitions of health and wellness! I think it’s really cool that the modern day bake sale, beyond being virtual, can also turn the concept of a sugary dessert on its head.

What has been most rewarding about this experience? 

Hearing how the bake sale has been an avenue for people to contribute to change has been super rewarding. There is so much change we want to see in the world that it can be difficult to know where to start, so hearing that the bake sale is making it easier for people to be charitable has been amazing. 

The hashtag for this initiative is #yourfriendsbake, because at the end of the day, I hope this is a fun way for people to connect with others who ultimately share the same intentions for social change. It’s been heartwarming to connect with old and new friends who are fighting for the same future, humbling to see how much talent my community holds, and inspiring to be reminded of how much good exists!

To learn more about Mia and Bake Sale  for Better, click here.