Meet the Random Acts of Pieness™ recipients

We launched the Bakers Square Random Acts of Pieness™ program in May 2019 and because of amazing participation we decided to choose Random Act of Pieness™ winners every month.

It is always a difficult decision to pick just a few winners, but here are all of our picks. Congratulations to the winners!

Susie Levinberg

Winning nomination by Zane Edgens
Susie is one of the most selfless people I know. She will give someone the shirt off her back to help someone. For years, she has tutored the neighbor kids for free because they needed the extra help. She has done volunteer work since the age of 15. She also takes awesome care of her 85 year old Army Veteran father who would be lost without her. She was a special education teacher for years and taught kids with learning and behavioral challenges. She is an amazing person.

Marcia Nash

Winning nomination by Indya Elie
I would like to nominate my mother for her kindness for others during the worst times. In 2017 my mother lost her sister to an aggressive cancer, during this time of grieving she was a pillar to friends and family. She began helping friends and family who experienced death also in huge ways. From cooking, to creating eulogies, or just being a shoulder to cry on. Recently I was in the hospitalized for liver failure, my mom was short of exemplary. Taking on full responsibility of my three children, being at the hospital everyday, or just simply crying with me. She deserves a peace of the pie everyday!

Noah & Carter Collins

Winning nomination by Dan Collins
Carter read that the recent natural disasters caused a shortage of blood supply in many parts of the country. Carter and his brother Noah called the American Red Cross to host a blood drive. They had two blood drives each with over 30 blood donors. They coordinated booking the location, securing donors and finding volunteers to work the events .At the blood drive, they also collected food for the local food pantry. #CARTERANDNOAHBLOODDRIVE

Lenny Lewis

Winning nomination by Cheryl Skeate
I am nominating Mr. Lewis for a Random Act of Pieness because of the extraordinary job of working with special needs children that he does. On a daily basis he is supportive, patient, calm, friendly, and strives to give them the best education he can. He is truly an unsung hero in our Bourbonnais school district.

Cheri Warnke

Winning nomination by Diane Traher
While my husband was battling cancer she brought meals for three weeks to the hospital as I was there 24/7 also ran errands paid bills etc as I didnt leave the hospital after we got home she continued to do so much for us. He died in July and she has continued to be a loyal friend to me. one note she eats her dessert before her meal. We have had many meals at the lansing, il Bakers Square.

Leslie Strauss

Winning nomination by Mary Anderson
Leslie Strauss works at the DuPage County Law Library and helps many people with their legal questions. She helps people every day by giving them legal books and resources so they can go to court feeling confident. Going to court is a daunting task but Leslie gives everyone she meets encouragement and a smile. She is a joy to work with and has so much sympathy for everyone who comes in. I appreciate Leslie and all of her hard work. And I know she will appreciate Baker’s Square French Silk Pie just as much as we appreciate her!

Jill Modeen

Winning nomination by Suzanne Ciebiera
Jill makes it her mission to create donation drives to help various families, individuals, nursing homes and animal rescues in need due to illness, fire, economic circumstances and cruelty cases. She has been helping for over five years. I think the reason she is so focused on helping others is due to the loss of her immediate family through tragedy and illness – she has taken her pain and turned it into a force for good.

Lorie Dobihal

Winning nomination by Lynda Lackner
“She gave me the gift of life! We were strangers and I needed a kidney, she said to her family that she has been blessed with 5 beautiful healthy daughters and she said “I want to pay it forward” she did in a huge way! I no longer live on dialysis! Ten years strong! We are both healthy!”

Elma (Joyce) Clark

Winning nomination by Angie Osgood
“Joyce is an army veteran who has served our country for over 20 years,  including Iraq and is now retired. She is the guardian of her 2 school age grandchildren after her son and daughter-in–law were killed in an accident. Joyce has a strong, kind, spirit and is an example of what we should be as Americans. She volunteers at school and as a basketball coach at church. Her household includes 4 children, which would be delighted to have pie every month. Thank you for your consideration.”

Sabeel Ahmed

Winning nomination by Asma Naheed
“In the recent winter polar vortex, a trembling cold spread through the city. It wasn’t safe to even step outside. Sabeel’s thoughts were this: I need to help my family. His immediate second thought was: how can I help my neighbors, especially the old woman next door who is 92 years old. Sabeel took out a sheet of paper and wrote a letter, greeting everyone and asking if they needed any help during these hard times, offering help with the snow and groceries and anything else. And that his home is open for anyone, so please come over for some hot tea and samosas. Then, Sabeel took this sheet and made dozens of copies, and went with his family, door by door, distributing the letter. Many neighbors called back, some to ask for his assistance, or some to even just thank him for his thoughtfulness. No matter how far away the person lived, he went there with his family, helping out whoever he could. In result, he helped many people with their difficulties, and caught the attention of major news channels, TV shows, and newspapers, such as Fox News, ABC, Windy City Live, Chicago Tribune, and many more. Below is a link of a clip of the Windy City Live show, which congratulated Sabeel for his kindness. “ ”

MaryBeth Gahan

Winning nomination by Denise Fenstermacher
“I met MaryBeth Gahan about 2 years ago.   She was teaching a class on God’s extravagant love for the disabled and their caregivers. MaryBeth was born with Cerebral Palsy and is a wheelchair user, who is also living with a rare form of cancer, but MaryBeth does not let her disability or illness stop her from giving back.  She not only volunteers as a teacher at a local homeschool co-op, she has made 2 mission trips to Peru delivering 200 wheelchairs to the world through an organization called, Joni and Friends.””

Joyce Vrabel

Winning nomination by Lena Wagner
“Joyce, a friend, who lived 80 miles away, took me in to live with her after I had a severe stroke and needed to stay in the Chicago area for rehabilitation(my family lives on both coasts of the U.S.) She rearranged her house and life to care for me. For example: bathes and dresses me, cooks/cuts my food, drives me Everywhere: church, rehab, shopping, appts,.etc. She has been my biggest advocate with doctors, insurances, pharmacies, she frequently puts lotion on my body to keep me moisturized. And always make sure I am comfortably warm or cool, either by wrapping me with warm cold weather accessories and holding onto me when its rainy or snowy and tucking throws around me while watching TV. Joyce makes sure that I still do things like go to the beach or movies, etc., she even took me to Las Vegas. Because of her kindnesses, big and small, I actually don’t mind being handicapped! I guess I love being spoiled by her!””

Peter Bumpass

Winning nomination by Krista Jarrett
“Peter is the epitome of kindness. In his 74 yrs, he has performed so many kind acts, 200 words wouldn’t even come close to expressing the amount of gratitude due him. But since your asking for examples, here are a few… Peter donated his kidney to a fellow member of church just because he saw someone in need and knew he could help. He’s opened up his home to multiple children that were living in abusive homes despite having 5 mouths of his own to feed. He volunteers at a Children’s home in NW Indiana that houses troubled teens that are not welcome in their own homes due to poor choices they have made. And although Peter has a college degree that he received in 1964, he returned to college in 2007 to earn a teaching certificate so he could tutor under privileged youth in the Southern Suburbs of Chicago. I could go on and on but hopefully you get my point! His passion to service is undeniably his stand out trait so this small token of appreciation would be more than well deserved.””

Norma Stueland

Winning nomination by Anita Hanson
“In the last 9 months Norma (a retired nurse) has started a Nurse Honor Guard in the Twin Cities in the state of Minnesota to honor deceased nurses with a Nightingale Tribute  to honor and thank them for their service to mankind. It is a service done at their visitation, funeral or graveside by nurses dressed in the traditional white uniform, cap and cape. It has been very well received by the families of the deceased nurses and very meaningful to those nurses participating. I am a member of the Guard and she is my Hero!! Google the Anoka Shopper or the Anoka Union Herald for a cover story and pictures by Paige Kieffer, Reporter. Thank you!””

Julie Szwedo

Teacher at Immaculate Conception School in Chicago, IL

Winning nomination by Jenna Kriz:
“I am nominating Ms. Julie Szwedo from Immaculate Conception School because she is an amazing teacher. She teaches English and is great at it. However, I’m nominating her because she started our school’s Drama Dept. 20 yrs ago! She began the Drama Club because she saw how many kids felt defeated after trying out for a Sports Team, but they were not good enough to make the team. She felt that starting a drama program would allow kids to be a part of something and show their individual talents! She inspired kids to achieve success and flourish in a unique artistic way. By allowing kids to join a club and participate by perhaps acting, helping create a set, or navigating the lights and audio parts of a play, she helped build each kid’s self-confidence. We need more teachers in schools like her to promote not just learning, but the students self esteem. I can’t tell you how many kids have benefited from her willingness to give all kids a chance to be good at something, but I know that over 20 years it must be a lot! Please recognize Ms. Szwedo for this award because she truly deserves it and I know she loves Bakers Square Pies!! Thank you :)”

Kaitlyn Toweson

Teacher at Westchester Intermediate School in Chesterton, IN

Winning nomination by Bradley Sweet:
“Miss Toweson is a 5th-grade teacher at Westchester Intermediate School in Chesterton, Indiana. She teaches 5th Grade Math and Science. She also coaches basketball two days a week after school. In addition, she started a VEX IQ Robotics club after school in 2017-2018. The robotics club is a volunteer job. That year one team went to the Indiana VEX IQ Robotics State Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium, which was a huge accomplishment for the first year. She continued the club in 2018-2019. The six teams of about six each were composed of probably 40% female and 60% male students. Four teams went to the Indiana VEX IQ Robotics State Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium. One team advanced to 2019 VEX Robotics World Championship in Kentucky! Massive leaps for a second-year team! She dedicates herself to the students in her classrooms, to basketball and to robotics. All the while she is pursuing a Master’s degree in what little spare time she has left!”

Christina Ward

Teacher at Alan Shepard School in Bourbonnais, IL

Winning nomination by A. R.:
“My son was entering preschool from early intervention services and Mrs. Ward was to be his teacher. I’m a single mother and utilizing some services from a domestic violence program in rehabilitation for the abuse my son and I suffered. They only had an afternoon spot open, but I work nights and cannot switch to days to provide transportation, and I didn’t feel comfortable with my son taking the bus due to his speech delay. Christina fought for him to get a morning spot, so that I didn’t lose my job and could continue in our families’ rehabilitation program. This also enabled him to get the speech therapy he needed. Totally above and beyond for any teacher to care about a student they just met in that way!”

Sandra “Sandy” Safranek

Teacher at Evergreen Park Community High School, IL

Winning nomination by Mary Robak:
“Mrs. Sandra Safranek has been an art teacher for many years. This past winter, as the faculty in charge of the Evergreen Park Community High School student art club, she brought a potential project to them. It was to create warm ‘knit’ hats for homeless people. Her project of kindness was embraced by her students, and word spread among other groups of faculty, staff and students, including football players, who participated. The school bookkeeper, Kyle Nine, knew of a need for winter hats at a homeless shelter where she and her husband volunteered, and the hats were donated. ALL 85 of them. This was covered in the newspaper (go here to read the article).”

Corie Woodruff

Teacher at Westchester Christian School, IL

Winning nomination by Susan Dronski:
“My daughter’s teacher, Mrs. Woodruff, is one of the kindest people I have ever met. My daughter first started at this school in 8th grade. It is a small school, affiliated with our church, only around 40 students, from kindergarten thru 12th grade. Two weeks after school started, and my daughter’s first year here, we lost everything in a house fire. Mrs. Woodruff not only helped us with cleaning out our home, she organized the students and teachers and church members to help us and donations of towels and furniture and clothing came pouring in. In the last four years. She has been there for my daughter and my family more times than I can count. She is an amazing teacher. She is the only one that gets my daughter through algebra, lol. She has shown us so many acts of kindness, she deserves a random act of pieness!!”


Know someone who deserves a Random Act of Pieness? Nominate them here.