Group helps “bake” up a brighter future for women in need

FAN Editor

Alexandria, Virginia — A job training program in the Washington, D.C., area is helping women in need “bake” their world a better place.

Sadie Kirkland says she was broken. After 20 years of battling alcoholism and more than a decade of unemployment, the former Army private hit rock bottom.

“Both of my kidneys had shut down … and I was in the ICU for nine days,” she told CBS News. “It was a touch and go situation.”

That was her wakeup call, which she’s answering at “Together We Bake,” a Virginia nonprofit that uses baking to teach women in need about business, ownership and being part of a team.

“At my lowest moments, I always felt alone, but here at Together We Bake, I have sisters that have similar stories or have had similar experiences,” Kirkland said.

The sweet treats are sold in local stores and online. Ninety percent of the graduates earn a food service certification — opening a door to the industry, if that’s the route they choose.

Lucy von Fahnestock helps run the program.

“You come as you are and you’re accepted for that,” she said. “You know, you are never thought less of for something you’ve done or you’ve been through.”

“Together we’re building … together we’re striving,” Kirkland said. “It means to me that you can always overcome any obstacle.”

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