Whitney Light Rutz, who was feeling sad about quarantine, decided to make a giant cinnamon roll with her 7-year-old daughter Elsa. While she originally baked the sweet treat just for fun, she later got the idea to start auctioning them off to raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts. So far she has brought in over $5,000 for charity, according to Today.
All Rutz wanted to do was lift her and her daughter's spirits by making some comfort food. She ended up posting a video to Instagram showing the baking process and delicious looking final product. Her followers were impressed, some asking for the recipe so they could try it out themselves. Others asked if they could pay Rutz to make one for them.
She decided that rather than sit around and feel sad about all that is going on in the world, she could get busy and do a fun activity while simultaneously helping others.
"I've been feeling super down and anxious about everything that's going on right now. I had myself a big ole ugly scream cry on Friday about it. Instead of staying in that darkness, I decided I needed to focus on something positive - something that brings me joy.... that's baking and giving!" she wrote on Instagram on March 25, including a photo of one of her now-infamous cinnamon rolls.
The first cinnamon roll that Rutz auctioned off brought in a total of $300. She donated the money to charity. It was then that she realized she really could bring in some major money to help others. Thus, she pledged to bake one of her giant, five-pound cinnamon rolls for every $500 that she received on her fundraising website for the Oregon Food Bank. The cinnamon rolls are then donated to healthcare workers on the frontlines. According to her charity website, the project has helped raise more than $40,000.Rutz is paying for all the baking supplies out of her own pocket but she doesn't mind. The project has helped her to keep her mind busy.
"Our family is spending way less than we would be if the world was open right now. At least the money is going somewhere good. I cannot imagine where my head would be right now if I didn't have this," she said.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Rutz is among many helping to advocate for others throughout these difficult times. One woman named Norfarrah Syahirah Shaari, who was born without arms, even learned how to sew with her feet in order to make hospital gowns for frontline workers.