In March 2020, weeks after stay-at-home orders were issued, isolation hit me pretty hard. My reaction was to radically reach out to connect with others by baking cakes and delivering them to their doorsteps.
Then I posted a photo of a cake and asked "Who needs this cake? Who's feeling lonely, stressed, overwhelmed, or forgotten? I want to send this cake to them, with love, from you." And I added the hashtag #cakeitforward. It was my way of kickstarting a tiny chain reaction of kindness and connection.
It has since taken off, with people across the country sending me money so I can continue this tiny movement-of-one and keep the love flowing forward. And those who've received a cake have turned around and sent one to another person. The cakes make the giver feel as good as the person receiving.
People have asked me to send a cake to E.R. nurses, elderly neighbors, single moms trying to home school their kids while working from home. To Missoula Youth Homes and Soft Landing Missoula, St. Patrick's Hospital, Missoula Fire Department and on and on.
The reaction is always the same: JOY. Knowing that someone out there is thinking of them enough to send a delicious cake or pie just makes their day. And many of them turn right around and say "I want to send one now!"
And that is 100% what I'm going for.
A chain reaction.
It's no overstatement: #cakeitforward turned my blues around, and now it's evolving from a crisis-oriented act to one of ongoing connection, appreciation, and love.