CAROL STREAM – A little more than a year ago, Sauer’s Bakery owner Deb Sauer was asked to donate to a Wounded Warrior Project fundraiser hosted by Carol Stream’s American Legion Post 76 Auxiliary.
Without hesitation, she agreed to donate 250 apple slices for the fundraiser. While most of those baked goods were served for dessert at the event, the rest were sold to raise money for the cause.
“It’s the least we could do,” Sauer said. “It’s up to us to look after the people that looked after us.”
Sauer and her husband, Paul, knew of the Wounded Warrior Project and the assistance it offered to wounded veterans and their families and caregivers. According to the organization’s website, its mission is to provide programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members and to enlist the public’s and other service members’ help in doing so.
It was just a matter of time before the couple became more involved with the project.
“It’s something in my husband(’s) and my heart,” Sauer said. “No matter if the war is ended or not, the care our men and women need will last a lifetime.”
In addition to making a donation for the auxiliary fundraiser, the Sauers put out a collection jar at their Carol Stream bakery. They hoped patrons would deposit their change, but to their surprise, $5, $10 and $20 bills have been donated.
Recently, a $100 bill was found in the jar. Amazingly, more than $5,100 has been donated thus far.
Deb Sauer can’t say enough about the many wonderful customers who continue to make donations.
“Our patrons have been so gracious,” she said. “It’s amazing how generous they have been.”
The employees have played an important role in the success of the collection as well.
Their knowledge about the Wounded Warrior Project allows them to answer questions about the organization, which often prompts patrons to make a donation. Additionally, employees continue to show their support by wearing project T-shirts as part of their uniform.
The Sauers plan to continue to collect donations. They said they were pleased to learn almost every cent donated to the project assists the veterans. Only a small percentage goes to overhead.
“We’ll leave the jar out until the customers no longer want to see it,” Deb Sauer said. “I think it’s important that we are mindful of the sacrifices [veterans]made.”
The Sauers also have pledged to continue supporting the auxiliary’s Wounded Warrior Project fundraisers.
“I think their continued loyalty to the cause is awesome,” auxiliary President Paula Krasnow said. “For them to do this for a long period of time shows their interest, caring and concern for the veterans.”
How to help
To make a donation, visit Sauer's Bakery, 788 W. Army Trail Road, or go online to www.woundedwarriorproject.org.