If there's one thing we can't get enough in our work with kids, it's celebrating accomplishments. But that's just the beginning.
Recently, an AZA Mom reached out to us about her son, Soren, and this one just has to be shared. So with their permission and straight from the proud mother herself, here's their family story:
"Soren has always been a foodie and he loves to look on Pinterest for recipes. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that he was drawn to baking since all measurements must be exact for a dessert to turn out right; in that respect, Soren's autism is a great advantage.
He asked for a Harry Potter cookbook (another of his obsessions) for his thirteenth birthday and was baking two or three recipes a day from its pages. In order to channel his constant baking into something more productive, I suggested that Soren hire himself out to friends and neighbors. He would bake cookies or cake and then I would photograph them and post them to social media with the prices included. Friends began commenting with their requests and soon Soren was very busy building up his own little cottage industry.
After completing his first high volume baking job, a wedding reception with three hundred cookies, Soren and I talked about the importance of giving back since so many had been kind enough to request his baked goods to support him. I encouraged him to donate ten percent of all his sales to AZA United, knowing that people would be happy to know their money was going to a great cause. Soren agreed that it would be a good idea to give back to an organization that had been so helpful to him, so I promised that I would match whatever amount he raised.
Throughout the year, as Soren baked and I posted on social media, we kept a running tally of all that he was raising for AZA and kept him accountable to his customers. On Giving Tuesday of this year, I posted on Facebook and Instagram to let everyone know that
Soren had raised $137 for AZA United with all his bake sales since January 1st. I was not only proud of him for raising a substantial amount for charity, but I was also happy to watch his work ethic grow and see his time management skills improve. Baking has been a real blessing for Soren and has given him more purpose and direction in his life."
Soren has not only learned useful skills out of something he is passionate about, but his family is also teaching him kindness by giving back to the community, and that is just wonderful! Thank you to Soren and his family for the generous donation! We greatly appreciate your support and can't wait to try some of your sweet treats :-)