I was drinking my morning tea when Sis. Ruth* texted. Although she’s fifty years my senior, she has become a dear friend.
We had gotten to know each other after my church’s first women’s zoom bible study. During the class, she made a comment about Jeremiah being known as the weeping prophet. It was the first time I had heard of his nickname, but it made me immediately think of the word “jeremiad” which means a list of woes. Jeremiah the prophet must have been the etmology of the word jeremiad. A quick google search confirmed my suspicion. The next day I wrote Sis. Ruth a letter about my word epiphany. I also conveyed my appreciation for her contributions to the class discussion – Sis. Ruth had shared many stories and valuable advice. She responded a week later with a text, and that’s how our friendship began.
But back to the text message. She asked whether I was safe since DC experienced heavy rains and gusty winds overnight. Sis Ruth is the church grandma – she’s always concerned and checking up on the young congregates. I replied that the storm didn’t affect my area and I hoped she had fared well too. She immediately responded that she was doing alright, but she had been fervently praying for rain in California.
Her comment got me thinking about California’s situation, specifically the condition of farmworkers. These essential workers have been putting their lives at risk so America can have fully stocked refrigerators. They are dealing with coronavirus, a heat wave, and poor air quality from nearby wildfires. I prayed for them that morning, then I formed a plan.
A few months back, social media was abuzz with bakers against racism posts. Amateur bakers were whipping up goods to raise money for BLM, NAACP and other estimable organizations. At the time, I chose to donate my money instead of fundraising because there was uncertainty around coronavirus transmissions and food. Luckily scientists have since concluded that prepared food is relatively safe, but workers should still wear masks while cooking and baking.
I had blocks of cream cheese and fresh milk, so I decided to make mini cheesecakes. (While wearing a mask, of course.) Once baked and decorated, I advertised the bake sale – 3 mini cupcakes for $6. The proceeds would go to the United Farm Workers, an organization that provides PPE and other safeguards to farmworkers. Once I loaded the advertisement to Facebook and Instagram, I kept checking my phone to see whether anyone would buy the cakes. I wanted to raise at least a few dollars for the farmworkers.
The first person to reach out was a dear friend who currently lives out of state. He venmoed me $50 towards the cause. I almost cried! Then other friends started saying that they wanted to purchase cheesecakes. By the end of the weekend, I had raised $108 for the United Farm Workers. I was so happy to donate to this amazing organization and to have socially distant catch ups with friends when I delivered their desserts. While this was my first time, it certianly won’t be the last that I participate in baking activism.
* Name changed to protect her identity