There is a group of nine women who, for three decades, kept a covert baking operation so under wraps that not even their husbands knew about it. They called themselves ‘The 9 Nanas’ and they had been secretly whipping up and delivering hundreds of pound cakes during the middle of the night so that they could help those that were in need. Mary Ellen, one of the 9 Nanas, told The Huffington Post that they gave a whole new meaning to the term drive by, she went on to explain how they choose what house to deliver to. “We drive through low income neighbourhoods and look for homes with fans in the window, which told us the people who lived there had no air conditioning or we see that there was no lights on at night, which means there is a good chance their utilities had been turned off. Then we would return before the sun came up, like cat burglars, and drop off a little care package.”
These 9 women aged between 54 and 72, all think of each other as sisters and would gather in darkness at 4am to begin their daily routine, which was to whip up their cakes and deliver them in the dark. Mary Ellen explained how the group got started over 35 year ago, one day the women were reminiscing about their grandparents, called MaMaw and PaPaw, who raised Mary Ellen and three other of the 9 Nanas. “MaMaw Ruth would read in the paper that someone had died and she would send off one of her special pound cakes, she did not need to know the family, she just wanted to put a little smile on their faces. We started brain storming what we could do to make a difference like that.” So the women began brain storming and one of them came up with the idea that they could do their own laundry and with the money they save put it to one side so it can be spent on a good use.
After about a month of the ladies doing this they saved around $400, the women then started eavesdropping at the local beauty shop or when they were picking up shopping, whenever they heard about a widow or a single mother who needed help they would anonymously pay a bill or buy clothes for their children. The Nanas would find out where the person lived and send a package with a note that read, ‘someone loves you’ and the package would always include one of MaMaw Ruth’s special pound cake. For three decades these 9 Nanas did good deeds that went undetected, it was only when Mary Ellen’s husband started noticing extra mileage on the car and large amounts of cash that had been withdrawn from their savings account that the women were caught out. Which is absolutely amazing that they were able to keep a secret like that for so long.