Nana’s Love: 9 Friends Providing Help For Those In Need, One Poundcake At A Time
Posted by GreaterGoodness
Nine grandmothers decided to get together one day and spread some love to those around them. Their operation remained so secretive that their husbands didn’t even know what they were doing in the early morning hours. The U.S. Army’s campaign of doing more before sunrise than most people do in a day has nothing on these people, collectively called The 9 Nanas.
The 9 Nanas bake love and good cheer into every pound cake they make, notes The Huffington Post. The women start early in the morning with an assigned task, and they start baking pound cakes for those who need an uplifting treat. The group also bakes them for orders placed through the official website. Although The 9 Nanas focuses on Christmas orders, the women do participate in gift-giving all year long.
Every August the group participates in “Happiness Happens Month,” where the ladies send one person in each of the 50 states a pound cake in appreciation for that person’s giving spirit in their local community. Whenever customers purchase a pound cake from the bakery, that money goes toward a worthy cause somewhere close to The 9 Nanas. As of 2012, The 9 Nanas contributed more than $900,000 to the local community. Each cake contains organic ingredients and sauce with no artificial flavorings or preservatives. In short, each cake has a lot of yummy goodness baked with love that was, at one time, a secret operation known only to the women who baked the cakes.
The Secret Comes Out
The husband of Nana Mary Ellen noticed discrepancies in the bank statement one day in 2007 when he saw large amounts of cash withdrawn from their savings account. Mary Ellen sprang into action, called her eight soul sisters and they ‘fessed up. What happened next floored the women. Instead of anger, all of their husbands offered to help.
Three of Nanas spouses were retired, so they accompanied their wives on “drive bys” to see how they could help the local community. They told their grown children, and the kids jumped in to help, too. The kids suggested an online presence, and the pound cake operation took off from there. Shortly after the website’s launch, the 9 Nanas received more than 100 orders a day for pound cakes. The proceeds go towards worthy causes in their local area. One such success story includes a $5,000 donation to a local domestic violence shelter, but their spirit of giving started from one of the nana’s grandmothers who had a tender heart for those who grieve.
How This Idea Hatched
The 9 Nanas started in 1977 in Germantown, Tennessee, over a card game when these women sat around and played bridge. One of the grandmothers of these nanas would read the obituaries in the local paper and then send the family some pound cakes as a way to try to bring cheer to their lives during a sad time. Thus, the idea for The 9 Nanas started.
Instead of going to the dry cleaners for their husbands’ shirts, the nine grandmothers decided to save the money and put it to another use. Among the nine women, they saved $400 per month. Then their top-secret operation began. The women did what they did best — listen to the local chatter at the beauty salon or in church. When someone heard of a member of the community in need, the women would secretly pay for that person’s utility bill or buy new clothes for children.
Additionally, The 9 Nanas would find out where the person lives and drop off a pound cake with a note that read “Somebody loves you.” As the operation grew, the grandmothers grew bolder in their quest, driving through poor neighborhoods looking for dwellings without lights on at night, which usually meant someone had trouble paying utility bills. The women would surreptitiously leave a care package, and they became so good at what they did that their husbands didn’t even know for 30 years. This all happened even while these women had regular jobs.
Just Normal Gals Serving Others
Before they retired, one or more of The 9 Nanas held normal, regular jobs such as a secretary, nurse, librarian, housewife and mother. They had these jobs while secretly baking pound cakes and performing charitable acts as an example set forth by older generations. The one thing these women have in common is the love of serving others. Even though it takes five hours per day to bake pound cakes, the energy of these nine nanas is an example of how the giving spirit can happen to anyone, at anytime and for any reason. These nine grandmothers chose to do something worthwhile with their time and energy when they saw a need in their community.
Caring comes in many shapes and sizes, and here is an example of how you can help on The Alzheimer’s Site.