Food

Astoria Baker Alex Taketzis Donates $1770 During Bakers Against Racism Sale

By Angelica Eranovic

All images courtesy of Alex Taketzis/From The Kitchen of Alex.

As the world continues to shine a spotlight on racial issues, and support the black community, Astorian’s continue to look for new ways to help the cause. One of our very own, Alexandra Taketzis (from @fromthekitchenofalex on Instagram), has participated in the Bakers Against Racism Bake Sale, raising and donating $1770 to the Loveland Foundation, with 35% of her sales coming from within Astoria.

Bakers Against Racism was started by three chefs in the DC area as a call to action to stand up to racial injustice, utilizing the power of food. This was a virtual bake sale available to everyone — professional chefs, pastry chefs, and home bakers alike, with guidelines only relating to time (pre-sales were to begin June 15, and to be delivered or picked up by June 20th), and the request that a majority of the proceeds be donated to an organization of the bakers choice that supports black lives. This viral movement not only spread across the country, but across the world, with over 2600 participants and over $1.9 million in donations.

Taketzis knew immediately that she wanted to get involved. During the sale she offered a $60 variety box of 15 items. They included Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies, Funfetti Cookies, Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter Cookies, Fudgy Brownies, and Fruity Pebble Marshmallow Treats. 100% of the proceeds went to the Loveland Foundation, who’s mission of supporting Black girls and women receive equitable access to therapy is one that hits close to home for her.

As a school counselor for students K-8 here in Astoria, she emphasizes how important it is to take care of one’s mental health and mental wellbeing. Unfortunately there are additional barriers that prevent us from accessing mental health support services, in addition to the stigma surrounding therapy in general. Everyone deserves the right to be healthy, happy, and have access to mental health services and support should they need it. The Loveland Foundation bridges this gap through various partnerships including those with Therapy for Black Girls, National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network, Talkspace, and Open Path Collective, and through providing financial assistance. This allows black women and girls access to the mental care and healing that they need. Their goal for 2020 is to provide 1,000 women with financial support for 4-8 therapy sessions.

For the Bakers Against Racism Bake Sale, Taketzis offered contactless delivery to NYC and most of Long Island and sold out of boxes very quickly. The response was so wonderful and heartwarming, that even after selling out she continues to receive countless messages of support from the Astoria community — both for the Loveland Foundation and for From The Kitchen of Alex.

“Astoria is a community (in the most diverse borough) with people from all walks of life. Older people who have lived here their entire lives, older immigrants, new immigrants, artists, young professionals, among countless others. The issues of our society of course are prevalent here in Astoria, but I believe that we manage to confront them through a strong community spirit and a positive outlook. The strong response I received to the Bakers Against Racism initiative is an indication that the community recognizes there is still much progress to be made, and work to be done.”

So what’s next?

The Loveland Foundation 

There are so many ways to continue to support the Loveland Foundation. Taketzis continues to personally support through monetary donations to the therapy fund and encourages anyone interested in supporting the cause to do the same. She suggests creating a giving circle, in which 6 (or more) friends pool their resources together. Six people donating $20 dollars each will cover the costs for one therapy session.  Another way would be to champion the cause and by starting your own fundraising goals utilizing your network of friends, family, and social media platforms.

From The Kitchen Of Alex

Before the Bakers Against Racism bake sale, From The Kitchen Of Alex was just a fun way to showcase her various creations, mostly for friends and family. However, after the overwhelming response from the Astoria community, Taketzis has decided to continue selling boxes of her treats, offering various cookies and other baked goods on a rotating basis. Baking has always been a passion of hers and she loves making others happy, spreading joy and happiness through her delicious goodies. She spends a lot of her time experimenting and testing out different recipes and there are some exciting new additions in the works. Peanut Butter Monster Cookies, Brownie Cookies, and Fruity Pebble cookies, to name a few, although she says Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies will always be her number one!

She is currently accepting orders on her brand new website fromthekitchenofalex.com and is offering contactless delivery to Manhattan/ Queens and Nassau/ Western Suffolk Long Island on specific days.

She truly loves and appreciates the support of our Astoria community as she continues to expand. Be sure to check out her instagram page to stay informed with any updates.

A Final Message 

“I want to reiterate the importance of taking care of our own mental health and mental wellbeing. I want to highlight services available such as NYC Well, which connects you to free and confidential mental health support. Through NYC Well, you can speak to a counselor via phone, text, or chat and get access to mental health and substance use services in more than 200 languages, 24/7/365.

Remember to do things to nourish your mind and your soul and try not to be afraid to ask for help if you need it — not only exclusively from mental health professionals, but from the people around you who care for you and love you.”

 

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