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TBC Bangalore came alive

24 November 2013 4 Comments

At the end of May 2013, The Bake Collective(TBC)  had wonderful, wonderful news-

We, now, had precious ladies in Bangalore who decided to help join the bandwagon and form TBC-Bangalore. They are Joyline Rodrigues and Nimmy Panjikaran, connected to the current TBC-Bbay ladies via school and college.

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TBC-Blore’s first Bake Sale was with Milaap to raise funds for a school in Bangalore to acquire better school furniture and accessories. A total of 1 lakhwas raised. You can read all about it here:

http://fundraiser.milaap.org/campaigns/BakeSaleBangaloreChapter

Everyone has a story as to how TBC happened to them and here is they said..

 

What drew you to TBC? Why did you decide to get involved in it?

Joyline: The fact that a small little task like baking could do wonders. I was always drawn towards baking, and if my baking could help make another person’s world better, then why not.

Nimmy: The Bake Collective Bangalore began for me in whispers in my childhood friend’s living room. It was early May 2013 and I was staying over, nursing a broken heart. I decided to grab a midnight snack and heard my friend rocking her baby to sleep. Then the whispers began. We were home alone and wide-awake. I was done dwelling on my romantic tragedy. A distraction was needed, pronto! Little did we know that that conversation would lead to the most fulfilling thing I have done in my life.

Bangalore, like any Indian city, has social causes that need attention around every corner. These were immediately on my radar. But help is hard to find. Those who have the desire to help don’t have the money, time or resources. Those who have the money and resources have learnt to not trust initiatives or charities thanks to a rich history of misallocated funds, greed and corruption. Those who do what they can, see their efforts disappear in a mountain of need. Then there are the ones who contribute to improve their social standing. The true heroes of social change are rarely recognized or rewarded. It is a thankless job in a chaotic world.

Even raising funds for a cause, that the majority agrees is worthy, can be hard. You not only deal with having to erase ignorance but there are people who will make it their agenda to prove you are wrong. This is something I have seen particularly in India. The way to succeed in this arena was to work with a family of supporters with a feel good activity linked to the fundraising. This was the topic that we landed on that fateful night as the world slept and our brains explored possibilities.

We kept coming back to the same example. Kavita Gonsalves, our friend from school, has always had a personality larger than life. We had seen Facebook updates on her initiative with Charlene Vaz to raise money in a way that truly brings out the ‘fun’ in fundraising. They had a unique approach. They would bring professional and home bakers together to produce baked goods that were sold to raise funds for worthy causes. TBC especially appealed to me because they did not associate themselves with a certain cause or a certain religious group. They picked the most pressing need in their immediate community and worked towards fixing it. I had often found myself wishing I was at those bake sales. It seemed obvious to reach out to Kavita. I sent a Facebook message expecting her to be asleep.

Kavita was on the phone with me within minutes of me sending the message. It is this aspect of Kavita that has made all her efforts so successful in Mumbai. She welcomed us to approach her for any assistance. She and Charlene also seemed open to us working under the umbrella of The Bake Collective. Then she told me about Joyline Rodrigues.

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How did you get started? When did you decide to have the first bake sale in Bangalore?

Joyline: Got started when Nimmy n I met and we explored a few options. We narrowed down on the date and place which was June 23rd 2013 at St. Vincent Pallotti Church, Banaswadi, Bangalore.

Nimmy:  Joyline & Kavita were college roommates. Joyline lives in Bangalore with cats, dogs, hamsters and guinea pigs in her little one bedroom apartment. She is deeply passionate about Animal & Human Rights. She has been baking a long time and takes professional baking classes. I was thrilled to have someone like Joyline to partner with. We met in a coffee shop that weekend. Within an hour of meeting, I was in her living room with her pets. Everything about Joyline was wholesome and positive and once I recognized that she wanted to replicate TBC’S operations as much as I did, The Bake Collective – Bangalore was born.

 

What was your cause? What was your target?

Joyline: In association with Milaap, to help the Basaveshwara institute get desks, benches, white boards for their kindergarten kids. The target was to raise 1 lakh.

Nimmy: Locating our first cause was harder than I thought. We wished to pick the one that impacts the most number of lives. Joyline and I would have loved to start with an animal related cause but found a better fit with one that Milaap, an NGO, brought forward to us. The cause involved working with a rural school that needed school furniture and a playground.

 

How did you prepare for the bake sale? How did it go? How many bakers/ volunteers were involved?

Joyline: Well, as the core team, from finding a venue for the sale, to putting together the volunteers, deciding on the items for sale, procuring the little things that we needed for the sale, to baking and packing and selling at the venue.

It was an amazing experience.. I will cry now if you ask me more. 🙂 Of course, we did have to answer many questions by the volunteers and those buying our baked goods , but in the end, it was worth it.

Nimmy:  The bake sale location decided the date of the bake sale for us. We had been going back and forth with locations and dates and eventually decided on the Vincent Pallotti Church on the third sunday morning in June. This was when there would be the most foot traffic. Through local radio, newspapers, Facebook and friends, we got the word out and gathered people who wanted to help/ bake. We met them in person once before the big day and loved how each had a different baked specialty to offer. Our list kept getting longer and more delicious. Most of the bakers volunteered to sell on the day of the bake sale and happily carried precious little baskets of goodies on the big day. We sold every single baked good that day and had to turn people away once we were done. Then we let out a collective gasp as we realized we had exceeded our goals by tens of thousands of rupees. We had just raised over one lakh rupees for the school on-site and online!

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What were the challenges faced by you? How did you overcome it?

Joyline: Finding a venue for the sale was the biggest hurdle. But for now, the problem is solved.

 

What did you find most rewarding in the TBC-Blore experience?

Joyline: A sense of fullfillment that  the little things we do bring so much joy to us and make a big difference to another’s life.

Nimmy:  The most rewarding part of this experience has to be the kinship that we all experienced while selling. We worked together for something greater than us and for that moment everything about our individual lives took a backseat and we sold with passion. Watching people come back and buy more reinforced our self worth because Joyline and I had gone through many cycles of self doubt while bringing it all together. We couldn’t have done it without the constant support of Kavita and Charlene who promoted it tirelessly online and through their Bangalore contacts.

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What is your vision for TBC-Blore? Any future bake sales?

Joyline: Looking forward to have many more bake sales. One for the animal welfare trust is in discussion.

Nimmy:  The Bake Collective- Bangalore hopes for continued success in the future. As for me, I’m back to feeling invincible in Bangalore.

 

For more on TBC and their upcoming bake sales: https://www.facebook.com/TheBakeCollective


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