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We {heart} Pie Girl

July 21, 2013

I don’t have a recipe to share today, but I really want to tell you about a girl who is making an incredible difference in her community.  Cat Gleason is only 16 years old, but her mission is “Helping to feed the hungry and homeless one pie at a time,” and she’s been doing just that for more than a year.  In Ocean City, NJ, Cat is known as Pie Girl.  If you’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying her pies, you’d know there couldn’t be a better name.

My sister and I look forward to riding our bikes to the Farmers Market while we’re vacationing in Ocean City every summer.  Last year, we saw Cat’s array of pies and couldn’t pass by without a couple to take back to share with our families.  To be perfectly honest, only Sam and I got to enjoy the blueberry pie I bought that day.  Jim and Claudia stayed on the beach a little too long that afternoon and the two of us ate the whole thing before they got back.  Oh my gosh, what a memory!  We each sat there with a fork and just could not stop eating this incredible blueberry crumble pie.  We truly savored every single bite.  Needless to say, I became an instant fan.

Cat uses fresh ingredients she purchases at the Farmers Market and bakes weekly in her church’s kitchen.  She donates 100% of her profits to God’s Kitchen at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church and a local food cupboard.  She really is feeding the hungry and the homeless with her pies.  I was, and remain, in awe of this young woman.  I started following Pie Girl’s facebook page and looking forward to our next OC vacation.

Then, at the end of October, Hurricane Sandy hit the New Jersey coast and wreaked havoc in towns up and down the coastline.  We love Ocean City and after 14 years of taking our kids there, we’ve come to think of it as a sort of second hometown.  We followed the news closely, and worried and prayed as the storm hit.  As I scanned news of Sandy’s aftermath, I saw an article mentioning Pie Girl.  It turned out that Cat’s family decided to stay on the island during the storm and Cat moved into action.  According to the Ocean City Gazette, Cat shared pots of homemade soup and freshly baked cookies with neighbors.  She did the same in other neighborhoods.  When she wasn’t handing out food, she was helping folks clean up.  Then she reached out even further and created the Ocean City Relief Center, with the help of other volunteers.  They provided a safe place for families to get a hot meal, some companionship, and access to charging stations for their cell phones.

We were happy to get back to OC this summer and enjoy all the places we’ve come to love.  The crowds were a bit smaller than usual, but we hope that they were enough to help the town continue to rebound from Hurricane Sandy.  We looked forward to Wednesday’s Farmers Market all week, and after we parked our bikes, we made a beeline straight to the charming Pie Girl sign.

This year, we spent a little time talking with Cat and her mom, Karin.  I continue to be so impressed with Cat’s dedication, kindness, and talent.  She is proof that there are no age restrictions on following your heart and helping others.  We can each make a huge difference in someone’s life, and people like Cat show us that it really is possible to change the world.  One pie at a time.

You can follow Pie Girl on Facebook or visit the Ocean City Farmers Market at Sixth & Asbury Ave., 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays through Sept. 4.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2013 11:46 pm

    What an incredible young lady. I shared your blog post on her facebook page so others could read it. =)

  2. July 25, 2013 7:41 pm

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Love Pie Girl! The blueberry cumble is fabulous.

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