we wanted to find a way to help them exhibit real COMMUNITY service
My husband and I moved to the Mt. Prospect, IL area shortly after we were married in 2005. As individuals, we have always been committed to the concept of community service and finding ways to give back. In an effort to make sure our kids had an “attitude of gratitude,” we started serving regularly with Feed My Starving Children in Schaumburg back in 2012 when our middle child, Mary, was just 5 years old.
Feed My Starving Children provided us with the chance to serve others globally but as the kids got older and had the ability to take more initiative, we wanted to find a way to help them exhibit real COMMUNITY service. This past June, a service at church suggested we find ways to serve others that aligned with our personal passions. I vividly remember walking to the parking lot and suggesting to our family, “we have to come up with an idea!” It was that message that inspired, Made By Mary.
The Made By Mary team started with three members: myself and our two daughters. Our oldest daughter, Kelly, is an artist at heart — on paper and on a stage. For this reason, it was decided she was the right person to assign the task of card-maker. Mary’s love has always been baking. She will bake at any time of the day and is certainly happy to taste any of the batters in the process!
She had no problem volunteering to put her apron on and pull out the step stool to the oven. My skill set focuses on finding various ways to serve others and, if I’m able to throw a little social media in there for fun, even better! The trifecta of our passions made baking for others in the community — including a hand-written message of encouragement — a nearly effortless way to do something good in the area.
Initially our efforts were focused towards people we knew. We also encouraged others to nominate someone who was going through a challenge and slowly the concept began to grow. Our oven was pre-heating most of the summer! We were excited to be able to have even a minimal impact on the daily lives of others and we weren’t surprised when people in our community, asked if they could join our team to provide community service as well.
By the end of December, we had nearly 20 people volunteering to bake or deliver our treats. Together we now have provided this community service to nearly 200 residents of the Mount Prospect and Arlington Heights community — all free of charge.
We were most excited when someone reached out from the small town of Hoopeston, IL and let us know that she had seen Made By Mary Facebook posts shared by her sister who lives locally. She was inspired to start a chapter of Made By Mary where she lives. What a joy to see our concept taking flight and growing! Megan Deck (the lead of MBM Hoopeston) realized what we knew all along — that anyone can be “Mary” in this equation. Join.
Through it all, we remain committed to extending caring and compassion and minimizing loneliness. We realize we can’t possibly
we now have provided this community service to nearly 200 residents
understand everyone’s hurdles but if someone else lets us know that another is going through a hard time, we care enough to do something about it.
The next time you hear of someone going through a struggle— or maybe even celebrating something exceptional— our first 200 deliveries have proven that taking the time to do the smallest of gestures has the greatest impact. If you live in the Mount Prospect or Arlington Heights, IL area, let us deliver a message of encouragement and love for you! If not, bake up your favorite recipe and let your delivery be from the Made By Mary TEAM, a group of people committed to simply saying, “we care about you,” even when it may seem that no one else does.
Teaspoons of Testimonials
“My daughter was so surprised and happy to receive these Christmas candies. And my husband… he was speechless. It takes a lot to make him that way. He just keeps saying, “that was really great. That’s just really great.” Thank you!“
“Came home tonight from a family member’s wake to find cookies from Made By Mary. A month ago I donated cooking supplies to you to help support our community. I had no idea how soon our lives would flip upside down and we would need a pick me up. Thank you for all that you do. I wish we didn’t need the support but at times when you do, it is so wonderful to have amazing people in our town.“
“If Made By Mary’s success is measured by reaching out to someone – to let them know, if even for a moment, that they are special and there are others out there supporting them – people that they may not even know – then Made By Mary was a great success yesterday.“