This project started late one Sunday night, with the glow of CNN lighting up the bedroom. In the context of philosophical queries about the nature of our world and the assumed existence of god that always seem to plague me when the biggest tragedies happen to the people who are already suffering the most (which seems to be pretty much all the time) and the subsequent feelings of helplessness that follow. Further followed by a frustration with some media outlets and their incessant spinning of stories, telling people not to contribute (because who knows where the money is going?) and saying that our money here in Canada (or in the US) needs to stay here for "our people". The arbitrary lines we draw between "our people" and "their people" are so disenchanting. The notion that compassion cannot transcend our border patrol is ridiculous.
Like everyone else I went to donate money, and then went for my daily dose of theppk.com where there were talks about vegan bake sales for earthquake relief in some of the bigger cities. Organizing a bake sale is not a reality for me at this time. I don't know any other vegans here in Kitchener (although I'm sure there are some - hello?) and an event like that was something I didn't have time to arrange and promote in the wake of my thesis defense. As such I decided to do my own little cupcake drive...something small, somewhat silly, but something nonetheless, so that I could get my hands busy and shake the feeling of uselessness.
I put up the post and dragged out my faithful companion - my pink Kitchenaid mixer - and got to work. And faithful she was, not giving me any trouble even though I worked her to the bone this past week:
Double chocolate and golden vanilla have been making their way around this hometown of mine for the past week, spreading the joy that only a vegan cupcake can bring while raising a few dollars for our friends who need it the most. I expected only a couple of responses from my Facebook and blog posts, but they just kept rolling in. Me and Pinky (the first sign of severe mental illness - you begin naming your kitchen appliances) and Paul too, we kept working away in a flurry of flour, sugar and unsweetened cocoa.
KW, together we raised $320.00 for the Free the Children Haiti Earthquake relief fund. We did this by sustaining only minor damage to our wallets and waistlines.
No animals were harmed in the pursuit of this project, although this human did sustain some minor injuries. I tripped and fell on someone's front porch while making one of my final deliveries, shielding the cupcake box with my body so that the sweets were safe and sound in my clutch, which in turn resulted in my knee being ripped open to the point where it currently needs FOUR bandages to hold it together. Because you see, I am a consummate jackass who trips and falls on a daily basis and should probably have my head examined for underlying neurological disorders. However, remnants of my favourite gray cotton tights on your front porch are but a small price to pay for door-to-door cupcake delivery, yes?
I want to thank everyone who participated, those who donated and bought cupcakes and those who spread the word. I would love nothing more than to continue Project: Cupcakes Care and raise even more money for Haiti, but I am a bit worn out at this point, jumping from my major life's work (my master's thesis) to a new project in a mere matter of hours and so I think I need to rest. And then determine what exactly it is I'm going to do with my life now that I'm done grad school (send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org).
In the meantime, I hope you will continue to consider how you can help those in Haiti and I will do the same. Compassion is such a cool thing, because it means you give, but it also gives back to you. Cupcaking left me so distracted and exhausted that the philosophical and ideological debates that generally go on in my head on a daily basis went silent under the purr of Pinky's trusty motor. This project was very small, but it got me out there doing something instead of just thinking about how horrible things are. I'm going to chase that sense of awareness for awhile and hopefully find some other volunteer projects I can get involved with.