Bake Sale from the Heart

HOLA high school student fundraises for Mexico and Puerto Rico with help from HOLA's moms

By Marcela Saavedra, HOLA High School Program Coordinator

For a few moments, the world stood still and helpless as we watched the news discuss the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the two severe earthquakes that hit Mexico. One of our 10th grade students, Marlene Macias, reached out to our PAT High School Team and shared her feelings; she was deeply affected by the earthquakes that hit Mexico in particular, as she has family members that reside near the affected area. After a few days of trying to get a hold of someone, Marlene’s family was able to get in contact with their loved ones and they all reassured her that everyone was alive and well. She acknowledged how fortunate she was, but understood that not everyone shared the same experience. Many others had yet to get in contact with family members in Mexico and Puerto Rico, and were worried for their safety.

Along with her usual responsibilities as a high school student, HOLA scholar, and a L.A. Raker member, Marlene was determined to lend a helping hand to survivors in Mexico and Puerto Rico. Marlene put herself in the survivors’ shoes and expressed her eagerness to help survivors in any way she can, deciding to conduct a bake sale to help raise money to donate to Mexico and Puerto Rico. She also decided to collect dog food to donate to a grassroots organization in Mexico named Topos (the Moles) that utilizes dogs to help find survivors underneath the remains of buildings left after the earthquakes. Marlene asked for assistance and guidance from HOLA’s mothers to help turn her idea into reality. Inspired by Marlene’s pitch on her three-day bake sale idea, many of HOLA’s mothers signed up to help in the bake sale.

On Monday, October 2nd, Marlene and some of HOLA’s mothers set up shop and provided home-cooked tacos dorados, pasta salad, fruit salad, and cups with gelatin with fruit toppings courtesy of Marlene’s mother, Brenda Martinez. The first day of Marlene’s bake sale was a success and raised almost $200 in two hours! The next day, mothers provided spaghetti with chicken, fruit salad, and fried Oreo cookies. Marlene and HOLA’s mothers managed to raise a little over $200 in two hours once again. On the last day of the bake sale, they sold tostadas de frijoles with cojita cheese and shredded lettuce with homemade salsa. Cups of fruits and gelatin cups with fruit topping filled the table, while a long line of people of all ages filled HOLA’s hallway as they eagerly waited their turn to make an order with Marlene. As more mothers began to arrive, more baked goods were donated to the bake sale. By the end of the third day, Marlene along with HOLA’s mothers raised $329.81 in two hours, and the three-day bake sale raised a grand total of $734.41! We distributed the money raised to two different organizations from Puerto Rico and Mexico that will help people directly and we donated the five bags of dry dog food to Topos.

HOLA has constantly proven that anything is possible when you are surrounded with authenticity and love. Special thank you to HOLA’s mothers: Alma, Angelica, Blanca, Brenda, Diana, Esperanza, Jaqueline, Letty, Martha, Tere, Viviana, Xochitl. Lastly, a warm thank you to Marlene Macias for her dedication and for becoming a role model for future humanitarians right here at HOLA.