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Bake sale group hosts events raising money for Gaza

The fundraiser took place on Saturday, Feb 10 at Tart and Soul

A local duo who already raised over $4,000 in relief aid for Gaza is hosting a third bake sale at Tart and Soul on Saturday, Feb. 10 to collect donations for a Haligonian bringing his family from Gaza to Halifax. 

The Valentine’s Day-themed sale will feature a variety of baked goods from professional and home bakers, according to co-organizers Lucy Pauker and Emily Lawrence. The pair joined forces late last year hoping to find a way to respond to the crisis in Gaza.

Paulker and Lawrence held two bake sales in December at Ramblers, a coffee shop in the North End. two months after the start of the Israel-Hamas war. The war has decimated the Gaza Strip and killed thousands of civilians.

“Like many other people in the world, I was really looking for something I could do that could have any kind of direct impact,” said Pauker. 

Pauker and Lawrence both said a bake sale seemed like a natural fit for the two, as both had experience in baking and community organizing.

“Lucy had the idea to do one as part of a holiday market that was happening at Ramblers Halifax, just as a traditional fundraiser,” said Lawrence. 

The pair were inspired by bake sales that raised funds for the Black Lives Matter movement. They quickly learned there would be no shortage of willing contributors. 

“It’s very much of a sum of its parts. It kind of came together organically in that way,” said Lawrence. “We thought it would be an enticing way to get people out to support the cause.”

The first sale raised $1,300 for Medical Aid for Palestinians and the second sale raised close to $3,000 for Pal Gaza, an organization that distributes food in Gaza. 

“I don’t think we’ve expected it to be this popular,” said Lawrence. “The first we sold out in 45 minutes and the second we sold out in just over an hour.”

After the first two successful fundraising events, Tart and Soul, a café on Coburg Road across from Dalhousie’s campus, reached out to Pauker and Lawrence to hold a third bake sale in collaboration with the second Paint for Palestine event. 

Paint for Palestine is an initiative started by local artist Adelepaints. It is a drop-in event where anyone can paint, with supplies provided, and donate to the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund.

With this bake sale, Pauker and Lawrence wanted to direct their efforts to a cause closer to home. All donations will be donated to a GoFundMe organized by Wassim Obeid. According to the donation page, Obeid lives in Halifax but has not seen his family who lives in Gaza for the past nine years. He has been able to secure government permission for 16 of his family members to immigrate to Canada and is raising money for the cost of their flights and other immediate needs. 

“It was this desire to get a more direct impact, and also to think about how this genocide is affecting our community directly. That was really important to me and Emily,” said Pauker. “It does hit so close to home for so many people.”

Pauker said they hope to go beyond small bake sales and grow the initiative to continue to make a difference in the future. 

“We’ve talked about having a bake sale collective and getting a few more people involved so that we can mobilize for other future activist causes,” said Pauker.

Both organizers say that the bake sales have not only raised money for Gaza but have also fostered a sense of community and created spaces for important conversations. 

“A lot of people are struggling to figure out where to donate their money and where to donate their time,” said Lawrence. “So, when they see something like this come up, it’s just a nice way to support and to show up with other people.”

The bake sale runs this Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m., with a full list of bakers contributing to the sale on their Instagram

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