'Happy and thankful': Toronto students surprised with holiday baking kits on Giving Tuesday
TORONTO -- Outside Winchester Junior and Senior Public School this Giving Tuesday, a class of Grade 7 students downtown were handed a sweet surprise.
“It was a bit shocking. I didn’t expect it. I was also happy and thankful,” student Olivia February told CTV News Toronto.
The students are among the first to be gifted Gay Lea Foods’ baking kits. They come with a pot holder, butter and a recipe book sharing traditions of family holiday treats and the people who lovingly make them.
“I bake a lot with my mom and my sisters always. It’s going to be really helpful with the pot holder and I’m really excited to try the butter,” said student Joanne Abdalla.
“I bake a lot with my family. I want to try and make cake pops or maybe something that has to do with that, like a cupcake,” said Sarah Idris.
The surprise kits are part of a campaign to ‘bake it forward’ and celebrate the season. A vintage-inspired truck is making 1,400 door-to-door deliveries of the kits around the GTA, Hamilton, London and Barrie.
“The idea is to encourage people to make that connection, and realize not only are we making connections in the kitchen, this is how people demonstrate their love,” said Gay Lea Foods spokesperson Rebecca Wise.
To make this Giving Tuesday more special, the students also got a book and ice cream.
This December, the butter maker is also donating baking supplies to Rex’s Ice Cream—a pandemic start-up known for its African-infused flavours, so more profits can go towards the shop’s book program for youth.
“I feel like the beautiful thing about giving is a two-way street: the person receiving is getting something and you’re also feeling better about yourself, as selfish as that may seem,” said owner Abdul Ali.
Students who received the kits say they like giving back, along with enjoying desserts over the holidays.
“I think it’s a good thing to do,” said student Eric Ayotte. “I think it’s good to actually give back to the community.”
“I think it’s cool, I think a lot of people are going to be excited about it,” said student Annarah Hulls-Perra. “Everyone was like, ‘I want free ice cream,’ and then boom we got free ice cream.”