PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — What began as an effort to cheer herself up ended up lifting the spirits of many others, raising money for thousands of meals and nourishing heath care workers — one giant cinnamon roll at a time.
Feeling the strain of social isolation and an uncertain future, Portland, Oregon resident Whitney Rutz sought a way to feel better and involve her daughter Elsa.
Rutz’s giant cinnamon rolls have raised more than $35,000 for the Oregon Food Bank, enough for more than 105,000 meals.
Since a friend asked for her roll to be donated to health care workers instead of delivered to her, the vast majority have gone to hospitals and health or assisted-living facilities.
Local artists, including her husband Paul, who is a painter, design the boxes before the sweets are packed up and delivered.
Jackie Enriquez, a nurse, takes the rolls to health care workers.
Enriquez took one roll to emergency room nurses to surprise them after a particularly rough shift.
“It just made their day. They cried,” she said. Her voice cracked with emotion. “I think that they felt, like, really moved and that people are still out there cheering them on.”
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