While making hundreds of holiday pies to sell for charity may seem like a lofty goal for some, for a group of Hingham Middle School boys, it’s more of a passion.
Guys Making Pies has been in operation since last year after a group of middle school students decided they needed to do more for those in need.
Within a few weeks, the boys – with some help from their parents – had organized sponsorships to buy ingredients and were making approximately 220 pies from scratch to sell for Thanksgiving.
As the grandparents of one of the boys own Bare Cove Café & Catering, the group even had a place to bake pies, working around the clock for three days before Thanksgiving to get the pies baked and delivered.
The proceeds went directly to several local nonprofits to help buy Christmas presents and artificial trees for those who couldn’t afford them.
With such a successful mission, more than a dozen guys decided to do it again this year.
The Thanksgiving season is now behind them, and the group has already made and sold 500 pies. But unlike last year, the guys are now making pies for Christmas parties and events to raise more money.
The extra effort comes coupled with an ever-increasing need for support, said Cara Sullivan, a mother of one of the boys in the organization.
“We’ve got 21 kids [we are buying presents for] and are expecting another 30. What we did is bake the pies for Thanksgiving and did some for Christmas, which we’re still doing. But the need is so great that we’re pushing for [more]…we’re still selling, still marketing.”
The boys make three types of pie – key lime, chocolate cream, and turtle cheesecake - selling them for $10 each. The cost to make them is $3-$4 a pie, but often people will donate to the organization in addition to buying a treat.
So far this year, the group has donated $4,000 to local charities.
“But I have the feeling that [more orders] are coming,” Sullivan said. “We’re having a few events in a next couple of weeks where the boys are setting up tables, taking orders, giving out samples, that kind of stuff.”
The main motivator is that the kids are helping out their neighbors, focusing their attention to The Family Life Center in Brockton, a shelter that houses 13 families and around 40 children, and the Department of Children and Families.
The group is also donating money to an organization in Hull that helps collect funds to buy books for hospitalized children.
“Any real need we feel should be supported, we like to donate. Small drives or shelters are the places we chose,” Sullivan said.
Though Toys for Tots and the Ronald McDonald house are great charities, the Guys group says the true impact is to have a smaller focus.
“The kids in the towns next to us don’t benefit from [those larger charities]. We like to go to the forgotten places,” Sullivan said.
Although the hope is to get more people involved in the pie-making, Sullivan said that the group only wants serious members.
“I have certain standards of behavior in and out of the group – they are representing us, we’ve done good things, and they are expected to maintain that reputation. And if that doesn’t happen, they are fired,” Sullivan said. “They have to do their homework, you can’t use this as an excuse, and the boys get annoyed if someone comes in who isn’t giving it their all.”
As surprising as that may seem for middle school boys, the parents and those in contact with the organization say they are continually impressed by the maturity and dedication of the group.
“I was shocked and blown away by them last year, and this year they are even more dedicated,” Sullivan said. “Their level of dedication, they eat sleep and breathe it - they get it.”