Community Loaves  (recipe included!)

Community Loaves (recipe included!)

Seattle home bakers donate over 1,300 loaves of bread to local food bank

Community Loaves has been on a mission to donate home-baked bread to a local food bank.

By:  By Kerry Breen and Adam Kaufman/

More people are cooking at home than ever during the pandemic, and in Seattle, more than 500 home bakers are taking an extra step to give back to their community.

Led by college administrator and avid baker Katherine Kehrli, Community Loaves has been on a mission to donate home-baked bread to a local food bank.

Kehrli, who uses her home as a staging area for the ambitious project, told TODAY’s Dylan Dreyer that the effort has grown from a small initial donation to the delivery of over 1,300 loaves of bread.

“Bread’s been around for a long time,” Kehrli said. “It’s four simple ingredients: flour, water, salt, yeast. But it’s been around for thousands of years, and each time someone discovers it for the first time, it’s like magic.”

Kehrli and other members of the group have developed a simple formula for honey oat loaf bread, which uses locally sourced flour. Each batch of the recipe makes four loaves of bread; volunteers are encouraged to donate three loaves and keep one, in what Kehrli calls an effort to “thank them for their time while (also) paying it forward.”

The loaves are donated by the carful to Hopelink, an area food bank that has reported surging demand during the pandemic.

“When I think of my childhood, my baba, my grandma used to make the best homemade bread,” Matthew Campbell, the associate director of food programs at Hopelink, told Dylan. “That reminds me of this. You can see smiles through masks. You still can. You can see the eyes go up. (With) 600, 700 loaves of bread now, that’s 600, 700 smiles.”

Sarah Gannholm, a home baker involved in the effort, said that in addition to helping out her community, the project has given her a new opportunity to bond with her father.

“I haven’t been able to see my dad for several months, so I got this idea that I would get my dad to buy a KitchenAid (mixer) and buy some bread pans,” Gannholm told Dylan. “He’s not a baker. He’s never made anything but chocolate chip cookies in his oven, or a turkey. It just seemed like a natural thing for us to get on Zoom and do this together, and all of a sudden he’s giving back to (the) community in a way that he’s never done in his life.”

Kehrli, who also didn’t start baking until late in her life, said that the project gave her a moment of connection with her grandmother Ruth before she passed away in August at the age of 105.

“When I visited her this summer, this project was going, and she wasn’t eating very much, but she would eat bread,” said Kehrli. “She loved the bread, and she told me that if the project had existed when she was baking bread that she would have loved to participate.”

In November, the Community Loaves group worked to adapt their bread recipe to make thousands of dinner rolls for Thanksgiving. For the winter holidays, they donated nearly 4,000 pecan finger cookies, using Kehrli’s grandmother’s recipe.

“(This project) has restored my faith in the collective good that we can actually do,” Kehrli said. “And it restores my faith that we can be more self-determined even in the face of the pandemic.”


…  and OF COURSE we need to include their famous recipe and info for making Community Loaves’ ‘Honey/Molasses & Oats Pan Loaves’. 

For the written recipe see instructions on video page under ‘show more’ HERE.


be kind . be grace .  share your talents



Clothing his Community

Clothing his Community

Meet the 18-year-old who created clothing charity, collected thousands of coats

By:  Kerry Breen / TODAY

After moving from a refugee camp in Nepal to Salt Lake City, Utah, 18-year-old Ashis Dhakal knew he wanted to give back to his community.

He told TODAY show’s Hoda Kotb that while he was mocked for his Hinduism, it was that faith that inspired him to start Ashis Collects Clothes, a charity that organizes clothing drives and donations for people in need.

“I got bullied in school … they called me a terrorist and stuff like that,” Dhakal said. “I practice Hinduism, and in Hinduism, service is very, very important, because, you know, we’re taught to give, and even if you don’t have anything, we try to give as much as we can.”

A few years ago, while working at a local KFC, he met a man who was homeless. While cleaning tables, Dhakal and the man connected, and the man shared his story about how he became homeless.

“One of the necessities he needed was clothes, and so that’s where I got the idea,” Dhakal explained.

Ashis Collects Clothes hosted its first clothing drive in 2019. Dhakal collected everything, including socks, hats, jackets, coats and shoes.

“With that project, I was able to bring so many people together and change so many lives,” Dhakal said. “My biggest ‘why’ in my life is that as a young child, going through poverty, I was in the same shoes as they were in right now. I have a house. I have a computer now. I have a phone. But think about it. Those kids are still suffering. What I can do is better others so that, you know, they can give back to their community.”

For Dhakal, Ashis Collects Clothes is just a start: In the future, he wants to own a multimillion-dollar business that focuses on giving its money away to help others. To help him meet that goal, Hoda introduced Dhakal to “Shark Tank” star Mark Cuban, a philanthropist and billionaire entrepreneur, who is also one of Dhakal’s heroes.

“Mark Cuban is a great, great, great entrepreneur/philanthropist,” Dhakal said. “The work that he has done for his community is awesome. I want to be on his level someday.”

Cuban, who said that he knows what it’s like to struggle and want to give back, gave Dhakal a specific goal: Collect 575 coats to give away to those in need.

While Dhakal first struggled to collect coats, he used a piece of advice from Cuban to give himself a boost: He networked with Amy Dott Harmer, who works at Serve Refugees, a local organization that connects refugees in the area. In days, Dhakal was receiving piles of coats.

“The momentum just kept going and going, going,” Dhakal said.

In four days, he collected thousands of coats, far surpassing his initial goal.

“I never dreamed of collecting 3,000 coats, but Utah has made it possible, and the people that I connected with made it possible,” Dhakal said.

“You’re setting an example, Ashis, that it’s not about connections,” Cuban said. “It’s not about who you know. Effort. It’s all about how hard you’re willing to work to getting something done.”

To make the donation go even further, Comcast, the parent company of NBC, announced that it would match the number of coats collected.

“I’m very, very grateful and happy to be in a position where I am to bring my community together and make an impact,” said Dhakal.


See Ashis in action in the below video link.  His tireless passion for doing good and helping others is infectious!

be kind . be grace . give from the heart 


‘Papa’ makes quilts to wrap people in love

‘Papa’ makes quilts to wrap people in love

‘Papa’ makes quilts to wrap people in need with love

KUTV “Pay it Forward”

For 15 years, Brent Rushton — affectionately known as “Papa” — has pieced together beautiful quilts to donate.

“I’ve given them to the Road Home shelters and the veterans,” said Rushton.

His latest batch of masterpieces is going to refugees.

“Most of them come in with no belongings, except the clothes that’s on them,” explained Rushton.

He says he’s probably made between 200 and 300 quilts over the years. That’s a lot of time spent in his shop — which was originally meant for wood working. He used to spend 12 hours a day in there, quilting away.

“I’m down to about six hours a day these days,” Rushton said.

But “Papa” doesn’t mind at all.

“I’d go nuts if I didn’t have something to do,” he said. “And it happens that this interests me.”

The 80-year-old says he doesn’t show much emotion, but he does like the way it feels when he finds out one of his quilts has made an impact on someone.

“I feel pretty good about helping somebody get a smile on their face,” he said.

Rushton has received some donated fabric, but buys most of the supplies himself. This January his local newstation, KUTV, and their ‘Pay it Forward’ project in partnership with Mountain America Credit Union donated $500 to Rushton to help him keep making the beautiful quilts and continue to spread the love.


Be Kind . Be Grace . Be Generous . Hold Space for Each Other 


Giving from The Heart

Giving from The Heart

A Carrollton, Texas police officer’s act of kindness over the last weekend was captured on body camera video.

According to the Carrollton Police Department, during a routine audit of body camera videos, officers stumbled across a welfare concern call on Saturday.

Police said the callers had reported that a homeless man’s wheelchair had broken down and left him stranded.

One of the officers who responded to the call took it upon himself to purchase a new wheelchair for the man from a local pharmacy.

He brought the new wheelchair to the man in need and gave it to him free of charge.

Be Kind . Be Grace . Give from the Heart


Expanding Their Hug Radius

Expanding Their Hug Radius

Like many Americans, Scott McKenzie was furloughed at the start of the pandemic, but told himself he’d stay positive and try new things. “I spent my entire career in college athletics, so I did what I tell my athletes to do. When you get knocked down, you stand up,” said McKenzie, who lives in Huntington, Pennsylvania.

“So I told myself I was going to do something new every week… And I had never made chocolate chip cookies from scratch,” he continued. That first week off from work, McKenzie baked his first-ever batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. The father of two was proud of his work, so he posted a photo on social media.

Little did he know, his friend of 15 years, Jeremy Uhrich, was at home baking with his two sons. “I just made a simple post back to him: ‘I think my cookies are going to be better than yours, let’s have a bakeoff.’ He replied and said he wanted to do it.”

The dads agreed to a cookie competition, judged by the town’s mayor. When a dark horse entered the race, it was all over for the two dads: one of Uhrich’s student athletes, Rachel Kyle, used her grandmother’s recipe and won.

They may have lost the bakeoff, but McKenzie and Uhrich put their cookies to good use.

“We delivered to some local police, and some local fire departments, went to a local grocery store and went up to a local hospital… It was just no more than thanking them for what they had been doing and working under very difficult and trying times,” Uhrich said.

“And we said, ‘That was fun. That was easy. Let’s do it again,'” he continued. Wanting to deliver more baked goods to essential workers, the dads started a Facebook group called Cookies for Caregivers.

“Expand your hug”

Within days, hundreds of people joined, with about 40 volunteers offering to bake.

Each week, McKenzie and Uhrich choose about six bakers from their list of volunteers to make treats. Then the men deliver the goods to different local businesses and first responders. For 40 weeks straight, they have taken treats to Penn Highlands Huntington Hospital. 

Cookies for Caregivers hasn’t stopped since — and it’s even expanded. The men told CBS News volunteers in other states have started their own local chapters, and there has even been some international interest, which moved both of them. 

“Jeremy and I from the very beginning hoped that this would grow from something that we do here in Huntington, Pennsylvania, to what could happen across the country,” McKenzie said.

What started out as a friendly competition turned out to be something life-changing, Uhrich said. “You know, if this pandemic were to end tomorrow, why do we have to stop? Why does it take a pandemic for individuals to do something special like this? It shouldn’t be that,” he said. 

McKenzie added they like to say they are “expanding their hug radius” with Cookies for Caregivers. 

“Right about now, who doesn’t need a hug? When things get tough, expand your hug, make it bigger,” he said. “And then, collectively, you’ll get through it, I think in a better way.”

Be Kind . Be Grace . Give From Your Heart



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