Just wanted to thank you all again for your help, whether it be by donations, prayer, or just helping spread the word. I am a firm believer in “what goes around comes around”, and I just know that you all have tons of awesome things coming your way!
Thanks also to Bloggers Without Borders. They raised money as well and donated $1060 to my tornado fund. I am without words, truly.
I recently gave my husband’s uncle a check from part of what I raised to help with expenses. He wanted me to pass this along:
I just wanted to tell you what a blessing it was today to receive money from you and your blog followers. I have seen more generosity these last six days than I have the entire rest of my life. It’s hard to understand why someone a thousand miles away would care about my family and our situation, but you do, and I am humbled to be on the receiving end. I don’t know who the donors are, but I trust that our Heavenly Father does and that you will be blessed because of your hospitality. Please pass this message on as a thank you! Your gift will go a long way in recovery during this difficult time.
Jim, Karen, Levi, Landon, Lincoln, LeighAnnah Lane
Now…for the prize winners:
Amy of She Wears Many Hats is the winner of the Le Creuset Farmfresh Steamer Set.
Trish of Sweetology 101 is the winner of the Chicago Metallics 9 inch round cake pans.
Hannah Singer is the winner of the $25 Target gift card.
The Wheatfarmer’s Wife is the winner of Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin.
Christina Self is the winner of the $25 Amazon Gift card.
Jen Drury of nomoreboringcakes.com is the winner of the Blentec Blender.
BakeStar is the winner of the super adorable camera strap cover compliments of Eclectic Whatnot.
Thanks again for everything. I will never be able to thank you all enough.
I know that most of you are probably sick of hearing about tornadoes.
Really, I don’t blame you. I sort of am too.
But we’re friends, you and I. And the thing about friends is, they talk about stuff.
So here it is.
Around midnight last night, while my son, husband and I squished up under a mattress in my hallway, a tornado caused this destruction about five minutes up the road in Etna, Arkansas.
Trees were uprooted, homes were leveled, and my uncle-in-law (is that a real thing?) lost his carpet store.
The tornado then made it’s way to Denning, another very small, rural community, where it continued to destroy everything in it’s path. When everything was said and done, there were people trapped in their homes, injured people with nowhere to go, and a few others who were not so lucky.
When we emerged from under the mattress and heard the weatherman say that Etna and Denning were leveled, it was truly devastating. Most of our loved ones live in those communities, and we couldn’t help but immediately fear the worst.
Thankfully, they were all okay. We were truly blessed in that regard.
Living in a rural area is particularly dangerous during a tornado for several reasons, the main one being that you cannot hear the tornado sirens that are going off in town. So if your power goes out, or you are asleep, a bad situation can sneak up on you very quickly. Even if you DO learn that the sirens are going off, you are usually too far from the nearest tornado shelter to make it there in time.
Denning and Etna are both small, close knit communities, and there have been tons of volunteers and food donations. Unfortunately, there are still people who are unable to reunite with family members due to the obstructions in the road.
It’s just a giant mess. And looking at it overwhelms me with helplessness.
But today as my husband’s aunt handed me a wet pile of family quilts and choking back tears, asked me to wash them before they got mildew and ruined, I knew I had to find my own way to help.
Really, it could have been me.
And so I got to thinking about what I could do.
I don’t have big muscles to cut downed trees with chainsaws. (plus, lets face it–I really hate the outdoors, that will never change)
I don’t have any house building skills.
Also, I’m not a genie who can make everything magically back to normal (but dude that would be so cool).
But–I DO have this blog. And a huge, supportive community of readers and bloggers who care.
So as much as I hate to ever ask for anything, I am asking you to help if you can.
I know some of you have probably already donated to Joplin, or Red Cross, or the Japan Earthquakes, or a million other disasters that have been going on. And if you have nothing left to give, or just don’t want to give, that’s totally fine. I understand.
But this is where I live, and I just have to ask. If you have anything at all, I would truly appreciate it, and so would the tornado survivors in Etna and Denning. I plan on making sure that the money goes directly to local efforts and helping provide the survivors with what they need.
To thank you for your help, I have managed to round up a few very generous prizes. And by donating, you will have a chance to win one of them!!
To donate, just click the Chip In link on the widget above. For every $5 donation you make, please leave a comment letting me know. This will count for one giveaway entry. If you donate $15 for instance, you need to leave 3 entry comments. Please leave an email address with at least one of your entries so I can find you if you win.
Le Creuset generously donated their new Farmfresh Steamer Set. This set is gorgeous, high quality, and will steam your food PERFECTLY. It also retails for $185.
Plus, it’s Le Creuset. What else do you need?
Chicago Metallic kindly donated two 9 inch commercial grade 9″ round cake pans. These pans are top quality and will last you forevah. And everyone will love you when you make them cakes with them. The retail value for two pans is $36.
Did you know that Chicago Metallic is also a sponsor of the Share Our Strength National Bake Sale? Awesome, high quality products + generous = one of my favorites.
Debbie Tortorigi from Lagniappe Press donated a $50 Target gift card.
She’s such a good woman, and truly wants to help. She is also awesome at web hosting/design. Just sayin’.
**UPDATE: I am SO very proud to announce that an avid blog reader in the earthquake prone Pacific Northwest was kind enough to donate this $25 Amazon gift card to the giveaway. (thank you!!)
***UPDATE: In addition to contributing money to the tornado fund, Jamie from My Baking Addiction has also generously donated a copy of Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin (of the blog Tartlette). It is a gorgeous photography book and is already one of Jamie’s favorites. Thank you so very much for your generosity Jamie!
**UPDATE: I was contacted by a sweet blogging friend of mine (who wishes to remain anonymous) who wants to donate a new, still in the box factory reconditioned Blentec Blender, valued at $400. This blender, is EXTREMELY high quality and comes with an extra canister and recipe books. This would be an awesome addition to anyone’s kitchen and is a very generous donation.
**UPDATE: The super sweet Ruthanne of Eclectic Whatnot has donated The Glinda version of her ruffled camera strap covers to the donation prize pool. (I like to think that she chose the Glinda because it reminded her of me ;) ) Thank you so so very much for your generosity, Ruthanne!!
I will draw winners on Wednesday, June 1st using Random.org and announce them here on my blog. I will draw the first prize first, and so on down the list until I have chosen a winner for each prize.
After donating and leaving a comment, you can get an extra entry by tweeting this giveaway. Just tweet I donated to @bakescupcakes tornado fund and was entered to win a prize http://su.pr/3tZGxs and leave a comment letting me know.
If you prefer not to enter but would like to send a card or an email to the survivors or have another type of donation, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you have any items you’d like to offer to add to the giveaway, that would be great too. Any and all types of support would be truly appreciated and treasured.
Thank you so much for always being a bright spot in my day. Please continue to keep those who are in the path of these storms tonight and tomorrow in your thoughts.