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Eight-Year-Old Laura Foley Bakes Bread for World Services

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DOLLARS FROM DOUGH–Laura Foley and Major Ron Strickland display samples of Laura’s bread.

by Judy Vaughn – 

The challenge to raise money for Self Denial inspires Salvationists to come up with many creative new ideas. For Golden State Divisional Secretary for Business Major Ron Strickland, his plan this year started with 100 crisp one-dollar bills.

Strickland and a team of other Salvationists, officers and employees spent three weeks in the Marshall Islands in 1998 repairing old structures belonging to The Salvation Army and literally building a new chapel from the ground up. It was a profoundly moving experience, documented on videotape available for group presentations.

When he spoke at a united meeting at the South San Francisco Citadel last May, Strickland presented one-dollar bills to people in the congregation, challenging recipients to multiply them in whatever way they could for their own self-denial offerings.

Eight-year-old Laura Foley was in the audience. She is a junior soldier at the corps and she accepted the challenge. In a stroke of entrepreneurial daring, she took her $1 and added it to that of the rest of her family, Captains Tim and Cindy Foley, Alex and Victoria. Starting with a $4 investment, she purchased enough ingredients to bake her first batch of bread. Each loaf she sold for $2.50, making a profit of $35.

The idea caught hold. She could see tangible results. As soon as family and relatives had all purchased loaves, she started marketing her product in public, moving out into the neighborhood and into the corps. Expanding her work force, she enlisted her friends to help make and deliver the bread.

Proceeds went into the bank to earn 5 percent interest. By February of this year she had sold 60 loaves of bread. Grand total as of this writing: $122.50 and still climbing towards the May 16 Ingathering deadline.

Laura showed a good head for business early in life. Her mother remembers that when she was five, her daughter drew a map of the neighborhood for which she boldly asked $100! A year later and more realistically, she baked bread to raise $29 to buy a pet guinea pig named Patches. This year, with experience and a growing sense of responsibility, she’s putting her profits into helping to raise money for her corps’ World Service efforts.

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