Many Americans have taken to baking while sheltering at home. Mary Pat Whitney, director of public and advancement events at Westmont, has raised the bar, baking brownie bars and a whopping 12,000 cookies for the Westmont and Santa Barbara communities. This effort started as a way to show gratitude to local first responders and essential businesspeople and grew into a large-scale operation for Mary Pat and her twin daughters, Emily and Kate. Donning gloves, masks and hairnets, the Whitneys have taken their goodies to the emergency department and critical care units at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, AMR Ambulance Company, MarBorg Industries, to each residence hall for the remaining students on campus and the Westmont Executive Team’s daily meetings. “For Easter, we delivered Easter baskets of baked goods to all six of Westmont’s occupied residence halls on campus as well as individual treat bags for the students at Ocean View Apartments,” Mary Pat says.
She also committed to delivering cookies to anyone celebrating a birthday while sheltering at home. “Receiving homemade treats that they can enjoy with their families just makes an otherwise strange birthday a little happier,” she says.
Mary Pat’s cookie craze hit an early snag when the nationwide baking boom sapped the local flour supply. She sent out a wide-reaching email and Facebook post and the community responded. “I received lots of donations of unopened bags of flour that we went and picked up from people’s front porches,” she says. “We bake and package items during the day and make a delivery run after dinner every night. It has been fun and has given us purpose.”