Post submitted by Candace Gringrich, Former Associate Director, Youth and Campus Engagement Program

rlier this month, HRC received a touching $801.02 donation from the students at Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies in Andersonville, a neighborhood in Chicago. The unusual amount was because the funds were from a Bake Sale for Justice held monthly at the school.

Starting this past December, students and families from the school host a bake sale and designate a local or national organization to receive the funds raised. Recipients so far include Refugee One, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Immigrant Justice Center and the Union for Concerned Scientists. It is a community effort with local bookstores hosting the sales, grocers donating goods and people volunteering their time.

Fortuitously, I was going to be in Chicago and reached out to the organizers to see if there was an opportunity to meet with the bakers and thank them in person. We met at State Representative Kelly Cassidy’s (D-14) district office (whose district includes the school). While it was planned last minute, I was blown away when almost 20 students, ranging from the second to seventh grade, showed up.

I shared a bit about the history and mission of HRC with them, highlighting our Welcoming Schools program and the HRC University internship program (it’s never too early to recruit!). I thanked them for their work and donation to HRC – but more importantly, the message their support sent to HRC staff.

The bake sale was started when a mom and daughter decided to do something to make a positive impact post-election. While HRC works daily to mitigate the regressive acts of the Trump administration, it is good to know that there are young people like those in Andersonville who are standing by our side.

Rep. Cassidy and I remarked after everyone had left that as challenging as things seem these days, there are some amazing hometown heroes doing good things every day. Thank you, Bake Sale for Justice, for reminding us we can still have hope. We are honored to have received this donation.

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