WeRise. is an fundraising organization bringing empowerment and hope to communities around the world one pie at a time.
We are currently raising support to fund a 2017 women's empowerment for a 2017 women's empowerment trip to Korah, Ethiopia with I Pour Life.
I've always loved cooking. My mom tells a story about coming home one day after work to find me standing on a stool next to my dad at our big butcher block cutting board, chopping vegetables...I was only three. I don't remember that moment, but what I do remember is a deep, deep love for food my entire life.
Another story my mom likes to tell is one that takes place about a year later when I was four. We were having a family garage sale, and I took my little orange (yes, orange) wagon to the backyard and filled it up with pinecones. I then pulled the wagon back to the front yard and began selling pinecones for 25 cents a piece. And people bought them...lots of them. I mean, who can say no to a four-year-old blonde with wagon full of pinecones?
So, I guess you could say I've always had a love for food and a knack for business. But, my other prevailing passion has always been the world-- to travel it, to meet its people, to learn its languages, and to taste and see all it has to offer.
I've been lucky in my life to find the world at my doorstep many times. My across the street neighbors growing up were a Bulgarian-American couple who met while serving in the Peace Corps in Africa. To say I was fascinated with them and their lives would be an understatement. My best friend all through primary school was a Russian immigrant whose family opened their lives and home to me almost daily and made me feel like I was probably part Russian too (which was a far stretch for this midwest girl). I also grew up in a church that had a huge heart for missions. We supported missionaries and there were many missionaries who attended our church after coming off the field. I loved going to all of these people's homes, hearing stories about their other home, and, of course, eating the amazing food they learned to make and love in their nation.
But, while I learned the beautiful things about the world, I also learned the heartache. I learned about families who climbed mountain ranges to escape their homes because of cruel dictators and corrupt governments. I learned about extreme poverty, death, and sickness that shows no mercy and plays no favorites. I learned about the lack of opportunities so many of them faced, futureless in their own homes. I learned what it was to suffer, to struggle, to have "the dream deferred." Their stories broke my heart. I knew I had to do something about it.
In 2015 & 2016, I was able to travel to some of those faraway places I had only heard stories about. The "uncomfortable," un-touristy places. I saw firsthand people who lived without the things I had always considered to be essentials to survive: running water, electricity, heat to warm their homes, food that didn't come from a garbage dump, basic medical care. I was exposed to so many heart-breaking things, but I also met some of the most amazing, resilient people. I had always known I wanted to be on the "world changer" team, but these trips made that desire even stronger.
Yet, there was still a conflict. How do I reconcile all these passions? Can I change the world through a cooking business?
The answer now, friends, is yes. Yes, I can. Today those passions come together to begin changing the world through food. So, today I'm selling pies and asking for your help. Thank you for being a part of it.
A non-profit marketer by profession, Stephanie Anderson has spent years serving local and international non-profits, empowering them use their voices to change the world. She is also a food junkie and loves to cook and eat as much good food as she can. Stephanie and her husband Andy reside in Springfield, Missouri, where they both serve on the staff of North Point Church and spend their free time watching Netflix on the couch with their giant bulldog Luther.