Fellow food bloggers reach out to support Jennifer Perillo
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The news ricocheted throughout the food blogging world, via Twitter and Facebook, and even old-fashioned email: Popular New York food blogger Jennifer Perillo’s husband, Mikey, died unexpectedly this month, leaving behind two young daughters.
Again and again, food bloggers asked: What can we do? What does she need? How can we help?
Those questions helped give momentum to a fledgling nonprofit organization, Bloggers without Borders, and an extraordinary fundraising effort to provide financial support for Jennifer, who works from her home as a freelance food writer and now finds herself facing tough financial questions about her future. She has amazed onlookers with her ability to put one foot in front of the other and is chronicling this walk in heartbreaking fashion at her blog, In Jennie’s Kitchen.
‘Jennifer has shown such grace and strength through all of this, and we were all asking ourselves, ‘What can we do?’ ' said Shauna James Ahern, known in the food blogging world as Gluten-Free Girl. Shauna and Jennifer met like so many food bloggers do -- online, via Twitter -- but they became friends in the real world as well. Shauna had recently spent the day with the Perillos, and recalled Mikey as a man who lived for his daughters and wife.
Enter Bloggers without Borders, a co-founded by food bloggers Maggy Keet of Three Many Cooks and Erika Pineda-Ghanny of Ivory Hut. The goal of the organization is to help harness the power of the blogging community to help others.
They are currently auctioning off a number of items at their Facebook page, with 100% of rhw money raised going to Jennifer. The offerings including new cookware, goodie baskets, a private dinner party served up by Shauna and her chef husband, and a day on the job with famed food photographer Penny De Los Santos. (At last check, the bidding for a day with De Los Santos was up to $3,800.)
‘When I heard about what happened to Jennie I knew I wanted to do something, anything, to help,’ De Los Santos said. ‘It’s amazing how the food blogging community has come together to help. I’m so moved by it and I’m so glad to be part of it.’
So far, nearly $14,500 has been raised through auction items and donations.
‘We are overjoyed (but not surprised) by your overwhelming generosity,’ announced the Bloggers without Borders site. ‘It’s a testament to the warmth and strength of this community as well as your love and respect for Jennifer Perillo. What a woman she is!’
If you know of any other fundraising efforts on behalf of Jennifer, please let everyone know in the comments section below.
-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch