A little bit of heaven: Two Anderson Township girls welcome homeless into new homes

by Susan Lakes

A little bit of heaven. That’s the way Emma Bushman describes the feeling she gets when the ingredients in the oven transform into freshly baked cookies. She likes the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies best. Peanut butter runs a close second.

Emma’s twin sister Amy prefers eating snickerdoodles and sugar cookies because those on the ones that smell really, really good when they are cooking.

Their taste in cookies differs. But there’s two major point on which the entrepreneurial-minded young ladies agree. Cookie baking is fun stuff and easy to do if you have all the necessary ingredients readily on hand, and cookies might not turn out very well if you don’t have all the right stuff.

With that in mind, Emma, Amy and their mom, Alison Bushman, founded a charity called Bake Me Home. They make up little kits that organizations can give to families when they move from homelessness into their own places.

Alison Bushman described what’s in the kits, right down to the the vanilla powder.

“All the families have everything they need,” she said. “They get the mix, the pan, the bowl, the spoon, the pot holder—-and they even get toothbrushes and toothpaste to brush after they eat the cookies.”

Families get a $20.00 gift card they can use to buy necessary perishables like butter and eggs. So between the kit and the gift cards, the families have the opportunity to experience that “little bit of heaven” scent in their new homes.

A television program focused on kids starting businesses inspired the twins to start Bake Me Home.

“I thought that (show) was really cool,” Emma said. She thought it was so cool that she posed a question to her mom. “Mom. Can kids re¬ally start businesses?”

Her mom gave an encouraging answer. “You can do anything you want to do.”

So they did, and now Bake Me Home’s rapid growth surprises all three. The charity has helped 550 families, and now stretches to ten agencies across four counties. It’s headquartered in Anderson Township, on the eastside of Hamilton County.

The Bushman twins and the business they started three years ago received national attention. Amy and Emma were named recipients of a $5,000 scholar¬ship from the foundation arm of a major corporation.

Find out more about Bake Me Home from http://www.bakemehome.org/ or email cookiegirls@bakemehome.org.