Community members with a heart to donate and a sweet tooth were thrilled to participate in a fundraiser for Love INC (Love in the Name of Christ), hosted by Mix Bakery in Merced.
There was a line of people waiting outside Mix Bakery, located at 1110 W. 16th Street, when it opened on February 24, the day of the fundraiser with Love, INC from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
People packed the bakery all day, buying the delicious items owner Cindee Prader and her family created for the occasion — custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies and brownies, and more.
Prader told the Times, “We provided the product, and Love INC took care of the advertising. Twenty percent of sales for the day went to Love INC.”
Love INC Executive Director Annette Macias, who has been a part of the local Christian community for over 30 years, reported, “They did really, really well, which means we did really well, and it was a blessing.
“Love INC is a faith-driven non-profit organization which mobilizes the church and community to bring resources to our low-income individuals and families in our community. It’s churches helping people, and we always say we give more than a hand-out; we give a hand up.
“We’ve been able to stay open during the pandemic since we’re considered essential. When the pandemic started, our phone began ringing non-stop. People were calling to ask us for food because they were unable to get out. We needed to get volunteers to drop off the food so it sent us into a mode of having to act quickly and get as many people mobilized as we could. Church volunteers and our staff really stepped up to help. We are blessed that COVID has not touched our office.
“We weren’t allowed to have our in-person fundraiser this year which includes testimonies from our clients, so we did a virtual event and that went really well.
“Because of the pandemic, we’ve been looking for different ways to raise money for our organization, to help our community.
“Our Board member, Sheila Quall, suggested we go to Mix Bakery and Cindee gave us a day in February for the fundraiser, and we started promoting it. We promoted quite a bit.
“We did an interview on 101.5 Radio KAMB, and then we got on social media quite a bit. We did a video on Mix Bakery and put it on our Facebook page.
“We did a lot of promotion which is essential in doing these types of events.
“Once we did the promotion and the day came, the community really stepped up, and they were just so supportive and we were so blessed by the response and to see how much they wanted to support a local business and also a local non-profit.
“It was really the best of both worlds.
“Love INC went into the bakery, and we did a live video there, and we saw some of our people who are part of Love INC and part of our organization that support us, and we were able to thank them for coming out for the fundraiser.
“I think people are wanting to help right now, and it was wonderful to see all the people that were coming out.
“When I got home, I saw the many people who donated and showed their cupcakes and other goodies on Facebook and shared what they had bought that day.
“The bakery is donating $1,000 to us, and then we got an additional $200 from another source, so we raised about $1,200 in one day.
“That money goes back into our community of families we help — for food, toiletries, and different items that people need. That will be blessing to our neighbors and our community.”