A Litchfield Park macaron baker is nearly halfway to her goal of raising $10,000 for The Younique Foundation in an effort to bring awareness to child sexual abuse.
Kirstynn Evans learned about the foundation in 2017 when she attended The Haven Retreat in Utah.
The retreat is a clinically informed four-day educational experience for adult female survivors of child sexual abuse. Its purpose is to educate survivors about the traumatic impacts of abuse, as well as introduce healing tools survivors can continue to use when they return home, Ms. Evans said.
“When I attended retreat, I had no expectations. I knew that attending retreat would be the first step in a journey that would hopefully take me to a happier and healthier self,” she said. “As I learned about the brain and the way trauma impacts children, things started to change in my thinking. I left retreat with a roadmap of what my next steps were in my journey.”
Ms. Evans said the retreat gave her the courage to take the next steps to live a life larger than she had ever imagined. Now, she wants to bring awareness to child sexual abuse and is holding a fundraiser this month.
As of April 13, she had raised $4,382 of her goal, according to her fundraising page on youniquefoundation.org.
April is designated as National Child Abuse Sexual Assault Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Ms. Evans operates Nora’s Macarons in Litchfield Park with her daughter, Nora, who began baking at 8 years old, starting with a quest to make the perfect macaron.
She viewed YouTube videos, practiced diligently, and worked to refine her technique. She tried dozens of recipes until she had finally mastered her macaron.
That obsession turned into a partnership with her mother and the two began selling the sweet treats at farmer’s markets, weddings, large events and coffee shops — all from their home-based business.
Ms. Evans said her courage to “live her life large” now includes taking steps to expand their baking enterprise with a brick-and-mortar studio that will open soon.
Proceeds from her macaron fillings class, which will be held virtually from 10 a.m. to noon Friday, April 30, will be given to the foundation.
Cost is $34.99 per person. Participants will learn multiple ways to make fillings including baklava, cheesecake, Snickers, divinity and Samoa. They also will learn about the best fillings for towers (weddings) and other occasions.
“People I have never met are using their resources to help my campaign,” Ms. Evans said. “Bakers are donating some of their proceeds, and crafters are making treats to spread ‘hope’ to survivors. My fundraiser is reaching people and places in the world that I never thought I could.”
For more information, to register for the class or to make a donation, visit norasmacarons.com.