Two weeks ago I made a pie. This pie:
I made this pie in honour of Jennifer Perillo, a woman well known in the food blogging industry both for her writing and her glowing personality. Quite suddenly, on August 7th, her husband and best friend, died of a heart attack. He left this world in such a hurry, there was no chance for anyone to say goodbye. His sudden death left a rift in the lives of not only Jennifer, but their two daughters, Isabella and Virginia.
Although I have never met Jennifer in real life, I felt connected to her and her family. Thousands of us banded together with the hashtag #apieformikey and sent her our positive vibes, our “thinking of yous”, our “things will get better.” We made efforts to speak our mind to Jennifer and to spread the word through not only the food blogging industry, but the mainstream food websites too. Our cause was picked up by CNN and even The Food Network. #apieformikey spread like wildfire.
But as time went on, it somehow didn’t feel like we were doing enough for Jennifer and her girls. Here is a quote from Shauna Ahern of Gluten Free girl:
“As you can imagine, Jennie is overwhelmed not only by her grief, and the sudden responsibility of raising two children by herself, but she is also struggling with this financially. She just learned that she cannot collect widow’s benefits from Social Security because she earns too much money each year. The health insurance for her and her kids runs out in December and she just learned that the total she will have to pay will be more than her mortgage. It’s possible she’ll have to pay off the entire mortgage in one lump sum because the apartment was in his name alone.
And more than anything, Mikey wanted Jennie to continue living her dream of being a food writer. And he wanted to make sure his kids were taken care of well. That’s why he worked as hard as he did.
So we want to help. And we hope you want to help too.”
As if the timing were meant to be, a charity founded by some of the most amazing food bloggers on the web today suddenly got to it’s feet (after months of tireless work to get it going). Bloggers without Borders a charity founded by Maggie Keet of ThreeManyCooks, Erica Pineda-Ghanny of Ivory Hut, and Aimee Wimbush-Bourque of Simple Bites, aims to help those who cannot help themselves.
And so with all these wonderful people working together, #afundforjennie came into being. The tireless efforts of so many people organized together to help out this family has many in the industry moved to action. What can be achieved when we all work together to help one of our own? Amazing things.
Many of us today will have posts featuring this button:
Clicking this button will take you directly to PayPal, where you can give whatever you can afford. $2, $5, $2,000. All of it will help Jennie and her girls.
There are also many amazing bloggers offering services and gifts through online auctions. Although I thought about doing an auction, I didn’t know what I could possibly offer. Though if there is a recipe on my site that you would love for me to cook for you and send and I get enough people asking for one, I might also do an auction. For now, I offer this and hope that everyone out there feels the amazing power this community can have when it comes together.
Gluten Free girl and the Chef – Gluten free dinner party for six in Seattle
KC Bakes – Custom 30 pop cake pop stand
What Gaby’s Cooking – Two dozen homemade Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies
Food Woolf – Wire Sculpture and a Visioning Workshop
Ivory Hut – Two tickets to Big Summer Potluck 3
Use Real Butter: Two fine art prints (raffle)
Penny De Los Santos – A Day of Photography on Assignment
All we can do now is push. Push ourselves to help in any way we can and to spread the word about #afundforjennie. Those girls deserve to live their lives free from the crush of financial burden. Jennie’s dream was to write and we can help keep that dream alive right now.
Please help Jennie and her girls, all you have to do is push that button.
Thank you from the bottom of all of our hearts.