Project Pot Pie 2016 was a TOTAL Success! RockStars and Babies teamed up with Sam Carlson and the Girl Scouts for the 4th year in a row to make and deliver hot, homemade, delicious, vegetarian Pot Pies to the homeless living in LA.
Project Pot Pie started about 16 years ago in my tiny kitchen with an oven that wasn’t even full size in my studio apartment and continued to be a one woman project for about the first 9 years.
It started out on a cold rainy day in late November when I made my mom’s recipe for pot pie for my then boyfriend and I. I took the leftovers out to Speedway where the cops were kicking a bunch of the “bums” I knew out from a carport where they were seeking shelter across the street. I came back in bummed, wishing I could have just fed 100 people instead of 4.
The next year I made two pot pies for them, the year after that I borrowed pans from my neighbor so I could make 4 plus I bought drinks and forks, each year got a little bigger until I was making about 150 pot pies and gift bags complete with socks, a drink, and a snack or two all on my own.
Fast forward to 4 Project Pot Pie’s ago in 2013 when Sam Carlson with Girl Scout’s troop 925 came to help make pot pies with us at our friend Ashley’s house. We had lots of “Beethoven Bears” (elementary kiddos) there including a few Girl Scouts that helped to make 250 pot pies for the homeless.
We made about the same amount of pies and Gift “blessing” bags as we did the year before but we made all 250 in about 1/2 the time.
Before I left that day Sam said she wanted to talk to me about “helping Project Pot Pies grow even bigger”. In two years it had already gone from a one woman operation to about a 10 person operation.
She said she wanted to wanted to team up with RockStars and Babies and make it part of her “Silver Awards Project”. I certainly couldn’t argue with that, it was always my dream to keep slowly expanding Project Pot Pie and it had grown every year into something a little bigger.
…well slowly didn’t seem to be in Sam’s vocabulary, she wanted to make 400 pot pies pies and gift bags in 2015 and was committed to starting her Silver Award’s Project. We ended up making closer to 600 pies last year because we had some leftover tins and ingredients.
The Girl Scout Silver Award: “Going for the Girl Scout Silver Award—the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn—gives you the chance to show that you are a leader who is organized, determined, and dedicated to improving your community.” Sam and Giselle pictured below in 2015.
Sam went beyond proving that she was “a leader who is organized, determined, and dedicated to improving [her] community”. She is all of these things and much more, she quickly went from being the inspired to being the inspiring!
When Sam told me she wanted to try for 1,000 pot pies and gift bags in 2016, I thought she just might be going a little too fast. I was worried that it might “take the fun out of it”.
I was wrong. There was just more fun to be had by lots more people.
Sam turned it into a “service project” and organized it so that many troops could help out. My heart grew 3 sizes when I saw how many girls turned out for this service project. 96 girls to be exact!
Sam and Kathy put in about 80 hours worth of organizing and shopping to get ready for the big day. Troop 925 (+others) spent about 2 days helping to plan. They managed to get many items donated for the “Blessing Bags” (travel size shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, cutlery, hand wipes, etc). RockStars and Babies raised money for many items like socks, water, chips, granola bars, pop tarts, and feminine products.
Sam and her mom organized every detail and went to the school the night before to cover tables and set up boxes for the pies to travel in with a few fellow friends/ scouts. Below are Sam and Presley (not a great shot) but Presley has been a part of Project Pot Pie for the past 4 years too.
The next morning these tables were to be filled with Girl Scouts preparing pot pies for the homeless of LA.
Sam and her mom got up way before everyone else to open cans and prepare everything for the Girl Scouts who started arriving just before 8AM. Special thanks to Gloria Halfacre for checking everyone in and for pushing to make Project Pot Pie a service unit project! We heard people say that it was their “favorite service project yet”.
The night before Kathy and Sam stayed up all night preparing enough homemade dough to add on top of 600 pies! Thanks to Ellen and Keith Andersen too for making enough dough for 400 pies! Below is a pic of the girls pouring out dough to take to individual tables to top the pot pies.
The girls came in ready to go and were full of smiles and love. They put their gloves on and got to work right away.
Here are few shots of the day!
I wish I knew every name and could tag each one of these amazing humans!
but take it from me they are all total rockstars!
Final step of prep: spooning the crust on to the pies!
This group was just having way too much fun 🙂
Our pot pies are boxed and ready to go!
It was a BIG day! I am so proud of each and every Girl Scout that helped out, but I am especially proud of Sam! I can’t thank her enough for what she has put in to all this over the past few years! Behind every great girl scout is a mom, dad, and/or mentor who puts a ton in too, for Sam it is her mother Kathy Vigil who was also paramount in making Project Pot Pie 2016 a huge success! Also no Girl Scout can do such a successful project without the help of her troop. Troop 925 put in lots of ideas, organizing, and hard work that made the day all that much more successful.
Once the pies were all prepared it was time for them to be baked! Many Girl Scouts took pot pies to their own ovens to be cooked and brought them back to the school for delivery to Skid Row/ Venice Beach.
The rest of the pies headed to Bonne Boueff Catering where we could cook 144 pot pies at the same time.
Ericka, the owner taught us all the safety rules and helped us prep the pot pies for the oven. Thank you so much Ericka for allowing us to cook so many pot pies at Bonne Bouff and for being so patient with us until all the pot pies and drivers were ready for delivery!
Watching how the oven worked was pretty exciting! Once the Pot Pies were on a tray (2 trays of 12 for each oven row) Ericka would rotate the pies making room for 24 more sending the pies first loaded down, for a total of 144 pies in one oven at time!
The last step was sending the pot pies out. About 200 of them went with a small group of girl scouts and parents to Venice Beach. The rest went to Skid Row via our amazing volunteer drivers! Project Pot Pie is always a live and learn experience, I thought 5 cars would be enough drivers for Skid Row (we made it with 6 but could’ve used 8+)! Thanks so much to Dani, Nick, Jen, Alan, Kelly, Dave, Ruben, Tim, and Sie Sie for helping make the delivery a success.
Thanks so much to Steve and Nancy Cottrell, Cheryl Legan, Jen Mandel and Tim Wager, Christian Behm, Heidi and Noah Leaman, Margaret Decker, Celia Chavez, Melinda Jones, and Marcus and Jessi Daschner for donating supplies and or $ for Project Pot Pie 2016! I feel like I’m forgetting someone…
Many extra thanks to Zoe Andersen, Rachael Halbert, Rebecca Halbert, Jennifer Gutierrez, Audra Dair, and Presley Halverson without all of you and all of those mentioned this day would not have been possible!
Next year, the plan is even bigger encompassing 3 locations including LA, Ontario, and Torrance!
Thank you! You are one awesome person who is destined for great things in life. It’s what we do for others that always shines through. I love working with you and am so proud of where you have taken Project Pot Pie! Let’s make it as big as we both can dream!