Join the Baking Brigade at Kansas City Hospice

Volunteerby Lane Foster, Volunteer Coordinator-Community Engagement & Special Events

Baking for others is a gift to those who receive the cookies, breads and pies, but it’s also a blessing to the baker. A wonderful article in the Huffington Post,  Psychologists Explain The Benefits Of Baking For Other People, details the ways baking is a win-win activity.

“Baking for others can increase a feeling of wellbeing, contribute to stress relief and make you feel like you’ve done something good for the world, which perhaps increases your meaning in life and connection with other people.” 

volunteer at Kansas City HospiceBaking for others is not just about giving people something sweet!

  • Baking is a productive form of self-expression and communication.
  • Baking for yourself and for others is a form of mindfulness, increasing happiness and reducing stress.
  • At the heart of baking for others is the very act of giving. While the process of baking can contribute to an overall sense of wellbeing, giving heightens that feeling.
  • Baking can also help people dealing with grief and loss.

volunteer to bake cookiesBaking is a traditional comfort

For many years, both Kansas City Hospice House and NorthCare Hospice House have received donations of home-made goodies and bakery extras.

Upper Crust, Dolce and other local bakers often stop by with extra pies, cinnamon rolls, and other treats.  We have regularly scheduled pickups for donation from Panera Bread and Clock Tower Bakery. Donut King and Pike’s Place are just a couple of the donut shops who give regularly.

We also have a lot of baking support from the National Charity League. We’re listed on their activity calendar, and members sign up to bring baked goods and snacks each week. Plus, there are groups who come in to bake in our kitchen each year as their way to give back to the community. Kansas City Hospice House has a nice kitchen available for families, groups and visitors to cook meals or bake for the families of those in our care. While NorthCare Hospice House does not have a kitchen, volunteers come often to use the cookie oven and crock pot meals are always popular.

Several people quietly stop by regularly to drop off cookies, bread and other treats. While we’re so incredibly grateful, they won’t even take a thank you card for their efforts.

volunteer to bake cakeWhat more could we ask?

There are always times when we want to do more.

Recently a family requested to celebrate Christmas early. They knew their loved one would not still be with them come December. One of their family traditions was to enjoy Christmas cookies and hot chocolate together. As part of their “early” Christmas they wanted to bring as many of their traditions as possible to the patient’s room. Since it was early November, Christmas cookies were not yet available in the stores. We started calling volunteers, and three hours later we picked up a tray of freshly baked Christmas cookies.  

One day last year we discovered it was the birthday of a patient’s child. The family was unable to prepare a celebration for this child while spending several days at hospice house. Once we learned the situation, with the family’s permission, we planned a surprise birthday celebration, complete with cake.

Four months ago, a patient and spouse arrived the day before their wedding anniversary and asked if we could help them get a cake or cupcakes for a celebration. We’ve even had several weddings! 

So many times we’ve wished for a “Baking Brigade” to be on call for these special circumstances.

volunteer for the baking brigade

Creating a Baking Brigade

The Volunteer Department of Kansas City Hospice recognized that increasing requests could overwhelm the regulars, those volunteers you know you can always count on in a pinch. So we came up with the idea of a Baking Brigade! 

The goal of the Baking Brigade is to help families and patient celebrate special moments in their lives. For many, these will be some of the last anniversaries or birthdays they will share. So, we want to try and make them as special as possible.

The needs of the program will be mainly those last-minute or emergency requests. We know not everyone is always going to be available every time for every special event, so it makes sense to have a larger group of people to call upon periodically.

If you join the KCH Baking Brigade, you’ll receive a call, text or email asking if you’re available and describing the need. We’ll rotate through the whole group over time, so that no one person receives the bulk of the requests.

Ready to Join?

We’re ready to hear from you! 

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Over 500 volunteers provide their time and energy in many, many ways to Kansas City Hospice to help provide compassionate care. Won’t you join us?

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