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Rising to a call for help: Bakery makes bread for hurricane victims

Copyright © 2017 Albuquerque Journal

Bakers at Golden Crown Panaderia in Old Town have made hundreds of loaves of bread by hand to contribute to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts as part of an ongoing collection effort.

Pratt Morales, the owner of Golden Crown, said he wanted to send bread to Houston because it’s something that “everybody can use.” He wanted to make the bread quickly so it wouldn’t go bad.

Bread baked by Pratt Morales, owner of Golden Crown Panaderia, and four other bakers

Bread baked by Pratt Morales, owner of Golden Crown Panaderia, and four other bakers. The bread, along with other relief items, is set to be delivered to Hurricane Harvey victims. (Marla Brose/Albuquerque Journal)

That led to a 24-hour baking session, which began at about 11 a.m. Wednesday. Morales said three other bakers participated in shifts, but he and his son stayed up for almost 24 hours baking bread.

“At four this morning, I stopped baking, went and took a shower, quick nap, and then back here again,” Morales said Wednesday afternoon.

Morales’ bread donation was part of a larger collection effort organized by Chris Brahs, the owner of automotive repair and diesel performance company Brahs Solutions Inc., who said items collected at his shop will be delivered to ReLEntless Defender Apparel in Richmond, Texas, located just outside Houston.

Brahs said six tractor-trailers will leave for Texas at about 3 p.m. today to deliver the items. People can continue to bring in donations to the shop, starting at 7:30 a.m. until the trucks leave. A list of needed items, including hygiene items and batteries, can be found on the Brahs company’s Facebook page.

In addition to making the bread, Morales also contributed to Brahs’ efforts by asking his customers to bring other needed items.

By Thursday afternoon, there were stacks upon stacks of donated items in the bakery, including water bottles, canned goods and even several bags of dog food. Customers also donated money, which Morales said will be used to buy gas for the trucks.

Three Albuquerque women, Jamie Rayne, Liz Walker and Jennifer Garcia, were among the volunteers who came to the bakery Wednesday night to help slice and bag bread. They all came back Thursday afternoon to help get the donated items and remaining bread ready for delivery to Brahs.

The women said it was humbling to be able to participate in the relief efforts and that they were happy to help support a business that gives back to the community – even one that, in this case – extends beyond Albuquerque.

Morales said that as a small-business owner, he was limited in what he was able to do, but he hopes that his efforts and those of the community will make a difference.

“We wanted it to be just a gesture from Albuquerque,” he said. “We’re a small operation so we can only do so much, but I think we’re doing a lot, considering.”