The COVID-19 pandemic has brought innumerable challenges and hardships to us all. For more than a year, our world has been swept up in a new normal that changed life as we know it; in some ways temporary, and in other ways, permanent. No further was this change felt than in the food service industry, which caused many businesses to completely uproot their business practices to be in accordance with public health safety. 

Like every nonprofit president, Carol Sneider was presented with these challenges all the same. But while the world shut down, Carol knew that the fight against breast cancer wouldn’t be taking a pause. Carol knew her work had to continue. 

With Carol’s cool head at the helm of Bakes for Breast Cancer, the organization would not only survive all that the pandemic had to offer, but would also continue in its essential role in funding breast cancer research. Buffers set in place for a rainy day would allow the organization to pay its bills despite a sudden dearth of participating restaurants that began just before a scheduled event. 

An example of one of these built-in safety nets was Carol’s organizational structure that already relied heavily on remote work. 

“I have always believed in the idea of a virtual office,” Carol said. “I never wanted to spend money on office space, I thought every penny should go toward breast cancer research.”

With shutdowns prevalent across the United States, offices became ghost towns. Work had to be done from home, which proved to be, for many, a new frontier riddled with technical issues and frustration. Carol was ready for such a test, and she had been for years. 

“Much of the world had to adapt to virtual work, but we were ready,” Carol said. “It was a seamless transition. Our work continued the same day.”

credit: Getty Images

The onset of the pandemic also threw many aspiring professionals’ internship plans into flux. The idea of virtual internships became commonplace and universally accepted by nonprofits and major corporations alike. As a proponent of a virtual office, Carol already had the infrastructure in place to support a new slew of virtual interns. These interns were an essential crutch for Carol as she dealt with the unique challenges presented by the pandemic. 

“Our interns were amazing. They stepped up for us when we needed help most,” said Carol. 

While much of the world hunkered down in those months, Carol continued her work on making the organization the best it could be. This included teaming up with interns and volunteers to formulate a rebranding strategy that has come to fruition successfully this summer. The process, which launched in tandem with the organization’s sparkling new website, brands B4BC as a nonprofit, first and foremost. Plans were also put in place to expand into the state of Maine, greatly enlarging the scope of operations and opening up new doors for research funds to arrive.  

In the face of an otherworldly test, Carol and the rest of the Bakes for Breast Cancer family rallied to ensure not only that the organization would weather the storm, but to come out on the other side stronger than ever.

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