Some 20 young people volunteer for a two-day ‘bake off’ to help Catholic Charities of East Tennessee
By Emily Booker
If you were to walk the hallways of Notre Dame High School after school Nov. 5 and 6, you might have noted the sweet scent of baking cookies and jolly sounds of Christmas music wafting from the cafeteria.
About 20 Notre Dame students volunteered for the two-day “bake off” to provide goodies for the annual Chattanooga-area bake sale to benefit Catholic Charities of East Tennessee.
“We are helping to bake cookies and pies for the Catholic Charities bake sale, to help raise money for Catholic Charities,” sophomore Anna Young explained.
Participating parishes included the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, St. Jude, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Chattanooga, St. Augustine in Signal Mountain, St. Thérèse of Lisieux in Cleveland, Holy Spirit in Soddy-Daisy, and St. Gerard in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.
Previously, area parishes have had volunteers in their parish supply the baked items for each bake sale. This year, Catholic Charities wanted to try a different approach.
Renee Nevil-Webster, CCETN events and outreach coordinator for Chattanooga, said that by having students bake and bag the cookies and pies, the parishes could focus their energy on the sale itself, without having to worry about supplying the goodies as well.
“Due to capacity reasons, we decided to bake at Notre Dame. Patti Dungan and I approached [NDHS president]
George Valadie about baking at the high school, and he eagerly accepted the idea, allowing the students to earn service hours,” she said.
“We had a wonderful turnout, and the kids are really energetic and came to work, and it’s been a wonderful experience.”
The students donned pumpkin pie hats and played Christmas music to get them in a holiday spirit as they baked chocolate chip, peanut butter, and sugar cookies and fudge pies.
Rehgan Lovelace, a senior, was helping in the kitchen.
“I put some labels on the pies, and now I am putting cookies on the trays and putting them in the oven,” she said.
Mackenzie Sims, a senior, was in the cafeteria, bagging and boxing the goodies.
“We have to bag them eight in a bag and put a little sticker on it and put them in boxes,” she explained. “I volunteered to help because I love cookies, and I thought it would be fun.”
Parish sales exceeded last year’s sale, totaling more than $7,500, proving that a little teamwork and holiday spirit can pay off.