Helping one sweet treat at a time

May 22, 2014

Baking+for+a+cause%2C+Molly+Smith+started+Sweet+Treats+by+Molly+to+reach+out+to+the+community.++

Photo Credit: The Glen Echo

Baking for a cause, Molly Smith started Sweet Treats by Molly to reach out to the community.

Molly bakes. All those she benefits are the icing on the cake.

Two years ago, Molly Smith, junior at GRHS, took her passion for baking and started to make the world a sweeter place.

In November 2012, Molly started her own company, Sweet Treats by Molly, a business that bakes, decorates, and delivers baked goods to different organizations: such as local community centers, school fundraisers, Boys and Girls clubs, retirement homes, and more. She manages her own non-profit business in her house, with a little help from her mom and friends.

“I wanted to do something with baking because it is something that I really like,” Molly Smith said. “I knew that I needed volunteer hours, so it started as a way for me to create my own volunteer hours. Also, helping people and doing something I like and something that is a productive use of my time.”

To get her ingredients when her business first opened, she would use money she earned.

“My mom is pretty good with advertising what I am doing, so she gets a whole bunch of people from her office. My dad also gets clients from his office, and people send in money that looked at the website, so I don’t spend my own money anymore. It’s all donations.”

The money made from her treats does not go a specific charity. She may pick the charity it goes to, or she uses the money to buy more ingredients for the next event. If she bakes for a specific event, then the money will go to towards their cause.

While Smith may run her business independently, she also gets help from other students in the school. Glen Rock senior, Samantha Moore helps Smith with many events by baking, decorating, and selling the baked goods.

Moore has helped Smith since her first event in 2012, the CIT Group Holiday Party.

“This is easily one of my favorite ways to volunteer. It’s so fun to bake with all my friends, and seeing the joy that the treats bring to other people is incredibly rewarding,” said Moore.

Smith has a great community for volunteering, especially as a part of the National Honor Society, which is a prevalent force in the volunteering community as the society requires members to volunteer a total of twenty hours per school semester.

This is easily one of my favorite ways to volunteer. It’s so fun to bake with all my friends, and seeing the joy that the treats bring to other people is incredibly rewarding.”

— Samantha Moore ('14)

Smith also rallies volunteers through social media. Smith has accounts for Sweet Treats on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SweetTreatsByMolly), Instagram (sweettreatsbymolly), and Twitter (@SweetTreats_MKS). Social media helps Smith spread the word about Sweet Treats and organize volunteering events.

Smith is also a student who is involved in sports most seasons of the year, which has her follow the same schedule as many of her volunteers. This is one of the key components of Sweet Treats that makes it so successful in regard to the number of volunteers that come to give their time and baking skills. Smith is able to be flexible with her schedule because the organization is located in her home, a convenient location for her and their volunteers.

The amount of people that volunteer varies depending on what is being made and how much needs to be produced. Sometimes there is as little as one person volunteering or as many as ten or eleven.

A matter of time

The tricky part that comes along with baking perishable goods, however, is the timing.

The goods need to be prepared only a few days before the event, so there is definitely a time crunch that comes with every event. This could be cause for concern, but there are always many students ready and willing to volunteer at the last minute. Volunteers, such as Samantha Moore, can go even further with volunteering and actually go to the events with Smith, which Moore has done on multiple occasions.

Most of the people don’t even believe a kid made them. It’s a professional fundraiser.”

— Ms. Walter

A large amount of volunteers come from the Class of 2014 at Glen Rock High School, which means that a lot of Smith’s volunteers will be graduating and going off to college next year.

Moore said, “I’m very much looking forward to coming home and helping out on my breaks. I love volunteering and definitely don’t want to stop just because I will be leaving for college.”

Relay for Life was Smith’s first event catering to Glen Rock High School.

Smith was studying in the GRHS Media Center.  Next to her was Ms. Walter, the Relay for Life head adviser, discussing about how hard it is to get people to volunteer their time, money, and efforts to make chocolate covered pretzels to sell during meetings and events sponsored by Relay for Life.

The 2013 Relay for Life spread prepared by Molly Smith and her volunteers.

Coincidentally, Smith overheard this and pulled out her business card, handing it to Ms. Walter, saying that she could make the chocolate covered pretzels for her.

“It’s just begging and pleading [usually], and it takes a lot of time and man hours to get volunteers, but now she provides them for us. She’s awesome. Plus hers look more professional,” said Ms. Walter. “Now that Smith has a structured way of mass-producing the chocolate covered pretzels, however, the success of fundraising has increased. And now it’s easy enough that we can just turn around and ask her, so it’s a great form of immediate fundraising – that’s the best part!”

Smith is the one who supervises the volunteers that help her make the chocolate-covered pretzels; under her supervision, the treats look neat and uniform. The greatest effect, it seems, is the professional style of the goods.

“All of the treats look very professional, especially on the outside. Most of the people don’t even believe a kid made them. It’s a professional fundraiser. I think that’s the biggest effect especially on the outside, it really looks like a professional did this. So it makes people want to donate more,” Ms. Walter said.

Smith does not limit her talents to just chocolate covered pretzels, though. Last year, she also provided cake pops.

Cake pops are small balls of cake that are covered in icing and placed on a lollipop-like stick. Smith used food coloring to turn white cake into purple, thus incorporating purple (the color that represents the organization) in a fun and unexpected way. The cake pops came in both vanilla and chocolate, but they were sprinkled with purple sugar crystals.

Baking for Relay for Life is only one of the many organizations that Smith, along with the help of her volunteers, has catered for.

Since 2012, Sweet Treats had baked goods for:

    • Various group holiday parties (to benefit John F. Kennedy School in Newark, Morristown Neighborhood in Morristown, and St. Peter’s Orphanage in Denville)
    • The Christopher Barron Dance Fundraiser
    • Opt-In for Life
    • Lots of Love 4 Lindsay
    • Swim Across America
    • Rock the Plate
    • Family Promise
    • Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

 

If you want to get into contact with Molly Smith to aid with baking for events through Sweet Treats, you can visit her website at www.sweettreatsbymolly.com.

“With us we bring a positive attitude and a smile. Why Smile?” asked Molly. “Smiling is scientifically proven to reduce stress and make you healthier.”

Mission Statement: The basis of this project is to seek out organizations, community centers, or homes that do not have the means for homemade desserts. We bake our treats for them (can be requested), and personally deliver our gifts to them on a mutually convenient date, on which we have scheduled an event.

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