This month we’re highlighting one of HIP’s best bakers, Andrea. Andrea has been volunteering in the kitchen with the Senior Meal program since the fall of 2021. She was referred to HIP by her friend and fellow Senior Meal volunteer, Jane, who knew that she was looking for volunteer opportunities that incorporated her love of cooking and baking.
Andrea is a social worker by training and spent 11 years at Seattle Children’s Hospital. When asked why she chose to volunteer at HIP, she explained that “I wanted to do something with other people and in an arena that felt meaningful…I’m a nurturer and have always loved to bake, so it seemed like a perfect fit.” Andrea is a regular at the Wednesday prep shift, and appreciates the opportunity to see the same faces over and over again, all working towards a common goal. She finds a lot of satisfaction in volunteering in a way that provides direct aid. “You can leverage people that have time to give and some basic skills into meeting a real need,” she explained.
If you’re ever looking for Andrea in the HIP kitchen, you will probably find her over by the stand mixer. She started baking her birthday cakes from scratch at ten years old, and hasn’t looked back. “[Baking] is sort of therapeutic for me, and is just joyful.” A firm believer that chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven, her favorite dessert to make at HIP is buckeyes (left).
When not at HIP, Andrea volunteers her time at Phinney Neighborhood Association Village Program, helping seniors in her neighborhood with everything from rides to medical appointments to household chores. She also is a recent empty nester, with two sons in college. Andrea’s warmth can be felt as soon as you walk in the kitchen. The Senior Meal team couldn’t ask for better!