Local restaurant owners have definitely faced a plethora of challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has limited their ability to provide business as usual services. However, this hasn’t stifled the generosity of Andolini’s Pizzeria owner, Mike Bausch. Mike recently donated pizza kits and a Zoom cooking class to Family & Children’s Services Women in Recovery (WIR) Community Mentoring Program.
The Community Mentoring Program at WIR pairs graduates of the program with women in the community who are willing to invest in providing support and encouragement. It’s a beautiful partnership of women who enjoy fellowship every second Thursday of the month as well as ongoing touchpoints with each other.
Due to pandemic restrictions, these women haven’t been able to have an in-person meeting for several months and have been reliant on the Zoom platform to meet. However, they did recently enjoy a meal together.
WIR staff member Lani Barns had the fun idea of making pizza during the most recent mentoring meeting. The generosity of Mike allowed this fun idea to become a reality.
Andolini’s donated kits including dough, sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. All that was left for the women to do was preheat their ovens and log onto Zoom to enjoy a personalized cooking lesson from Mike. He showed the women how to toss dough, discussed what ingredients make pizza extra tasty, and how to properly bake a pizza crust. While the pizzas baked, Mike kept the women engaged by demonstrating how to make pizza rolls and calzone. At the end of the event, the women pulled their pizzas out of the oven and ate their delicious creations.
WIR graduate Julie Sorrels said, “It reminded me that people in our community support WIR and inspire us with their kindness.”
WIR and Family & Children’s Services are grateful to Andolini’s Pizza for not only their donation of perfect pizza ingredients but also for the time Mike took to model what it means to be a business owner who gives back to the community.