What’s a Gift Pie?

Pecan Pie

1st Annual TLLC Youth GIFT PIE Project

We called this the first annual because it was such a success that we are definitely going to do it again!

Here’s some history. For more than 10 years the TLLC Youth have been baking Thanksgiving pies to sell to the congregation. We start the night before with the middle schoolers peeling, coring, and slicing the apples.

apple peeling
Three in one tools make peeling many bushels of apples quick work

Then all day the next day our high schoolers take shifts baking the most delicious apple, pumpkin, and pecan pies from scratch (well…except the crust; that’s premade.) in our very own TLLC kitchen. One year we baked nearly 400 pies! It sounds daunting, but the kids actually love this project. Every year we have at least one TLLC Youth Alumni drop in on pie day to catch up with old friends and pitch in at their favorite stations.

pecan station
The pecan pie line is definitely a messy one!


Pumpkin line in the back, crust station up front

The profits from the sales have gone to support everything from National Youth Gatherings to the 500th Reformation Anniversary trip to Germany. In between the big trips the money is used for camp scholarships and other needs of the program such as van rentals and education materials. About 4 years ago we started reaching out to partner with local schools’ PTA programs to bake pies for parents to purchase for teachers as holiday thank you gifts. That part of the project now makes up over half of the total pie sales!

Pie delivery to Westwood High School


Westwood teacher pies
Westwood High School Pie Day! All those white boxes came from TLLC.

So what’s a gift pie?

Due to anticipated fewer sales this year (mostly pandemic related), we scrambled for new ideas on how to sell more pies. The idea we came up with was to offer an option to folks to purchase a pie for someone else. We asked the Outreach Ministry to call our partner organizations (Mariposa, Florence’s Comfort House, and Multicultural Refugee Coalition) about receiving pies. All of them were happy to be a recipient! We also reached out to the local emergency rooms, hospitals, fire stations, police stations, etc. to see if they would be interested in any pies. They were! We had a very large number of requests for gift pies. Our only hope now was that enough people would purchase them to fill those orders. Although we didn’t get as many gift pie orders as we anticipated, we were able to deliver gift pies to all the organizations for them to eat and enjoy either with their families or while working difficult holiday hours.

Open Arms pie delivery
Delivery to Open Arms (of Multicultural Refugee Coalition)


Mariposa pie delivery
Delivery to Mariposa Family Learning Center

This new feature of the traditional pie sale was definitely a success as well as a blessing to folks who support our community. We plan to do it again next year so look for those pie envelopes or online order links at the end of October and be ready to order your pies; either for you or someone in our community!

We are now in our 3rd year of offering gift pies! Click here to order.

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