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Cancer survivor turns books and baked items into Stone Soup

Since moving to Carroll County last fall, Terry Pitt has found herself immersed in pastries and books.

As the founder of The Stone Soup Foundation, a nonprofit that provides meals for the homeless and people in need in Carroll County, Pitt raises money for the organization by combining two of her hobbies — baking and reading.

"When I moved here to Carroll County last October, I decided to take a different direction," said Pitt, a professional caterer for more than 11 years. "I didn't want to be a high-end caterer anymore. You know how it takes a village to raise a child? Stone soup takes a village to stamp out hunger."

Though she is not a pastry chef, Pitt has been baking all her life. Pies are her specialty, especially fruit pies such as blueberry, peach and apple. But she also bakes a wide variety of pastries, from cookies to creme horns and chocolate cakes with banana filling.

To support Stone Soup, she takes orders for baked goods, and proceeds benefit the nonprofit.

"Everybody likes pie," Pitt said. "We had so many requests for key lime and lemon chiffon pie over the summer. Now we're hearing more of the warmer ingredients like cinnamon and that kind of thing."

She also started collecting books. All genres — from fiction to non-fiction, reference books to children's stories — can be found throughout her house, including two bedrooms dedicated to the mission. All of the books are donated, and Pitt goes through the collection, advertising online and shipping orders every day.

"All the money goes into Stone Soup," she said proudly. "Every penny is being spent in Carroll County."

Currently, Pitt works with Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Eldersburg to provide monthly meals to women in shelters. Through Stone Soup, she has been able to help families with funds for people facing evicted and for groceries.

Her dream is to one day have her own space, approximately 1,000 square feet along with a kitchen, where she could serve dinner daily and provide a place to gather.

"It would be more than a place to eat," Pitt said. "People could come in, watch TV, take a shower, read. It would be more of a gathering place."

A breast cancer survivor — she said she's been cancer-free for five years — Pitt knows the power of support.

"The people that supported me were absolutely amazing," Pitt recalled of her battle with cancer, which included chemotherapy, radiation and 11 surgeries. "Anything we [Stone Soup} can do to help out. It feels good with every book I ship."

Pitt's pastor, the Rev. Dr. Iris Sauber of the Carroll County Center for Conscious Living, is also working with her to create a website for Stone Soup that would feature what baked goods Pitt might be offering.

"It's really great," Sauber said of Pitt's creation of Stone Soup. "It is a little challenging to just step out and do that. Her intention to support people … and to feed people ... is very powerful. It gives people a lot of hope."

Currently, the Stone Soup Foundation consists of Pitt and two board members. Pitt plans to continue baking and selling books to raise funds, while looking constantly for a place for Stone Soup to occupy.

For more information about the Stone Soup Foundation or to place a dessert order, call Terry Pitt, at 410-707-2769.

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