For these three, baking is a way to comfort families facing a battle with cancer. Karen Leuschel, Barb Senger, Corky Wilcox: Team Bake, Boulder, Colo.
Credit: Matt Nager

At age 20, Corky Wilcox's daughter Amy faced and survived cancer. So when she read a magazine article about There With Care, a non-profit organization in Boulder that helps families with critically ill children, Corky understood the stress TWC families were facing. "I don't know how we would have gotten through it without our friends," Corky says, "and many of these families have no support." She told friends Barb Senger and Karen Leuschel about the group, and the trio set out for their first TWC training session. While there, they noticed many boxes of donated, very ripe bananas that were all destined for the trash.

Thinking they could do something with their free time, baking talents, and these bananas, the idea for Team Bake was born. In addition to their work with TWC, they meet about once every three months to bake. Together they churn out about a hundred loaves at a time. The banana bread is then packaged and placed into bags of groceries delivered to the 100 or so TWC families. "These families look at it as a special treat," Karen says. "It just puts a big smile on people's faces. It's like a reflection of what we put in—this is from our hearts."