Acts of Compassion #AFundForJennie

fundraiser for Jennifer Perillo
“I was thirsty you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

When many of us in the food blogging community learned of the tragic loss of Jennifer Perillo’s husband, Mikey, we felt the compelling need to give something of ourselves. We banned together in great numbers and reached out to each other and to Jennie with prayers, words of hope, and images of compassion.  Thousands of us followed Jennie’s simple suggestion of baking a peanut butter pie in remembrance of her beloved. The baking and sharing words of support via the #apieforMikey Twitter meme, soothed our collective ache of grief.

Late Friday night I received an email from my big-hearted friend, Shauna from Gluten Free Girl. She asked via a moving letter if a handful of trusted friends would be available to help participate in an effort to raise money for Jennie. Her email explained that with Mikey gone, Jennie faces some rather significant challenges in the not-so-distant future. Their medical insurance will end in December. The policy’s monthly renewal rate will cost more than the family’s monthly mortgage.

Shauna suggested we offer up gifts of ourselves–a service, a food item, a piece of art–for a fund raising auction. Thanks to the assistance of a non-profit organization called Bloggers Without Borders, every item auctioned off will result in real dollars to be donated into a fund created specifically for Jennifer and her two little girls.

Donate to Bloggers Without Borders

In case you haven’t heard of Bloggers Without Borders yet, it’s because it is a newly formed non-profit organization for bloggers, by bloggers. Co-founded by my friend and accountability partner, Maggy Keet (Three Many Cooks) and Erika Pineda-Ghanny (Ivory Hut), this non-profit organization strives to use the diverse resources of bloggers to help other bloggers and people in need.

You can follow what’s happening on Twitter with #AFundforJennie. #AFundforJennie is a call to action for anyone willing to give generously of themselves via donations of money or of items of self. This fundraiser is our chance to step beyond what feels comfortable and give in a more substantive way.

To make a direct donation now, click that big BWOB DONATE button above.

A piece of me for a friend in need

As a restaurant consultant, I am in the business of service. I help restaurant owners and leadership teams focus on their long-term vision for their business, empower staff, and educate teams on how to give great service to customers. The more I teach the art of customer service, the more I realize that the work I do has roots in the ancient teachings of compassion and generosity. Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages teach the need to make a purposeful effort to improve the conditions of others. The lesson is simple: if we want to have happy and fruitful in business and in our lives, we have to be generous of spirit and give of ourselves authentically.

So when you live a life of service, there isn’t space for hesitating when you are called to be of assistance to a friend in need. All there is room for is YES, WHEN, and HOW MUCH. You just do it.

jennifer perillo fundraiserFinances are tight right now for lots of us. I know. I’m right there with you. Perhaps a generous donation is just far too much than what your bank account can handle. But if you do want to get involved, please spread the word via Twitter, or sign up to auction off something you care about on your blog. Donations will be sent via Pay Pal to Jennie through Bloggers without Borders.

Brooke Burton wire sculpture los angeles
Fish Sculpture in Steel Wire by Brooke Burton

I am auctioning off two items for Jennie’s fundraiser: art and service. First up, a wire sculpture. This fish is one of my original wire sculptures like the kind I sell on Etsy, constructed from a single strand of steel wire (reinforced with galvanized steel). This fishy measures 8.5” x 10.”

Bidding to start at $40. Shipping not included.

If you would like to bid on any of my auction items, please leave the amount you are bidding, and for what item you are bidding, in the comments section of this post.

Visioning Workshop
Visioning Workshop helps you know what direction your life/career is going

Next offering is a mini-Visioning Workshop. If you are looking to take your blog or career to the next level, then this is the workshop for you. I will lead the highest bidder through a structured, three-phase process that will help you get clear on what actions or steps will need to be taken in order for you to achieve your goals and aspirations for your blog or career.

I will help you see beyond the obvious goals of making money (or getting lots of blog traffic) and lead you to explore what unique skills/products/services/talents you have in order for you to work towards a compelling and satisfying future. I’ll help you see what you need to do in order to draw a dedicated customer/readership base and give them what they’re looking for. If you’re ready to start doing the hard work of exploring your goals and aspirations for your business or blog, then this is the workshop for you.

This abridged workshop will be conducted in three over-the-phone sessions (or in person if you live in LA). Each session will last about an hour. This workshop will require  the participant be committed to doing a fair amount of homework.

Minimum Starting Bid: $200

Please leave the amount you are bidding, and for what item you are bidding, in the comments section of this post.


Important notes about my #AFundforJennie auction:


  • Auction item payment method will be discussed independently between the winning bidder and myself via e-mail.

  • Full payment will be made to Jennie via the Bloggers without Border’s Paypal account.

  • Please be sure to put a correct email address with your comment so I can get in touch with you!

  • These items will be available for auction until Monday, August 29th, 2011 at 12 pm.

  • The winning bidder of the Visioning workshop will have until 2/28/12 to claim their session. Please note that advanced scheduling will be necessary for the three visioning sessions. Missed sessions can not be made up.

 Thank you for your generosity!




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Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.


  1. August 22

    My bid: $100.00 for your beautiful artwork. I love that fish!

    • August 22

      Thanks for the early bid, Matt! I hope you win it!

  2. Brooke, this is the most generous and kind event to help Jennie and her family. I will work on a piece of art to donate when I am back in the OC next week. I will publicize this event everywhere now…

  3. August 22

    That amazing wire fish sculpture is the final piece my yet-to-be-built office needs! I bid $150!

  4. August 22

    I love your fishy wire work – $175 is my bid

    • August 25

      Yay! My first workshop bid! I can’t wait to get you on your path to getting clear on a vision of success!

  5. August 28

    I’d like to bid $225 for the workshop.

  6. Kevin McKenzie
    August 29

    $300 for le workshop

  7. August 29

    Bummer, I just saw that bidding time ended already. What a great item.

  8. Petunia
    October 15

    Current circumstances have led me to believe that this blogger’s financial situation has been grossly and deliberately misrepresented, in particular by Shauna Ahern. I am sorry to say that I am very disappointed in this endeavor and I will not be donating to BWOB projects again.

    • October 17

      I’m sorry you feel that way. Please be assured the monies donated will go to protected educational accounts to support Jennie’s daughters’ education. I hope you will continue your generous support of a cause you believe in.
      Best, Brooke

  9. Kristi Hazzard
    October 27

    I think an honest update on this fundraiser would be welcome. Your work is beautiful and I applaud your generosity and compassion. I lost my dad very suddenly to a heart attack when I was young and I feel for Jennie and her daughters. But, as you point out, finances are tight for many of us right now, including many charities for people in real financial need, and those who have limited funds to donate to those charities. I’m very disappointed that in this case the blogging community appears to have been so misled by the initial plea that made it sound as though the family was left nearly destitute when it now appears that is not the case at all.

    Your wire sculpture is very lovely!

  10. mange
    April 28

    Jennie Perillo enjoyed an entire month in Paris thanks to your valiant fundraising efforts. Look it up!

    • April 28

      Actually, Jennifer Perillo returned the money, much of the donated money was returned to those who gave it and the rest was donated to several organizations selected by the donors.

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