Local senior apartment community to hold ‘Bake Sale for Book Bags’ Goal is to provide 30 book bags for the homeless

Local senior apartment community to hold ‘Bake Sale for Book Bags’ Goal is to provide 30 book bags for the homeless
July 11
03:00 2019

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

Stopped at a light at a street corner, Annette Nichols watched two homeless people carry plastic bags with their possessions down the street. The image stayed with her all the way to work and when she got to Quality Independent Living  (QIL) senior apartments, where she is the director, she shared what she saw with some of the residents. “They have to carry everything with them because if they put it down, it could be stolen,” one resident told her.

The conversation continued and Nichols asked: What if they had something better to put their belongings in, something more dignified? What about a book bag that they could carry on their backs and if they were sleeping outside, it could be used as a pillow and protected from theft?

Nichols called Bethesda Center for the Homeless and was told that they could use 30 book bags to give to their guests. She went online and researched book bags, finding one that would be perfect. Then she went to her resident activities coordinators and asked, “How can we raise the money to purchase book bags for the homeless?”

The residents had recently enjoyed a cooking class where they made and shared cookies (recipe below), so they suggested a bake sale.

And that’s the story behind their upcoming Bake Sale for Book Bags. The bake sale will run for one week, July 15-19 during lunch hours, hopefully drawing in people who work or live close by to stop in and pick up a dessert. Residents are planning to bake cakes to sell whole, as well as cake slices and, of course, cookies. There will be a variety available each day and all proceeds will support their book bag for the homeless project.

Nichols said that the residents are QIL are always busy and willing to help others. “The activity coordinators volunteer their time to come up with things for the residents to do. They come to me with their idea and if we have money in the budget, I approve it, but they do all the work.”

Nichols said that the residents are excited about the bake sale and have a goal to raise $300 to provide 30 book bags to the Bethesda Center. The public is invited to stop by for dessert Monday – Friday, July 15-19, from 12 – 2 p.m. at 5068 Lansing Drive. You can eat your dessert in their community room or on their patio, or take a treat to your co-workers or family. Cash donations are welcome!

Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies
(Recipe from

2 cups sugar

½ cup cocoa

1 stick butter

½ cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla

3 cups quick-cooking oatmeal

½ cup peanut butter (optional)

Combine sugar, cocoa, butter and milk in a saucepan. On medium heat, bring to a boil for one full minute. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter (optional), vanilla and oatmeal. Drop by spoonful onto wax paper. Let cool for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy!

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