When you walk into Sarah Bellum Bakery on Capitol Highway in Multnomah Village, you’ll find mouth-watering treats and even, tasty snacks for your furry friends. However, the makers behind these treats share a truly incredible commonality: all of the volunteer bakers are recovering some form of brain injury.
Sarah Bellum Bakery (a play of the word cerebellum – the part of the brain that controls coordination, muscular activity and more) is helping adults with brain injuries cope with their recovery as well integrate them back into the community. Brain injuries are wildly complex and can have a number of lasting effects.
For instance, a person with a mild brain injury may suffer from impaired memory or have difficulty learning new things. Both of these skills are critical for relationship development, meaning adults suffering from brain injury can easily become isolated and lonely. Sara Bellum’s goal is help its volunteers have purpose, accomplishment and find a consistent opportunity to socialize.
Additionally, the reason behind Sarah Bellum’s baking is it is an ideal activity for brain cognition and function, especially for those recovering from brain injury. Baking requires repetition as well as focus, attention to detail and coordination, making it a strong opportunity for recovering volunteers to flex and strengthen these skills.
The founder, Rik Lemoncello – associate professor of speech-language pathology at Pacific University, found the connection between baking and the improvement of brain skills after he noticed the challenges for those people recovering brain injuries, particularly relationship and social. So after winning a grant, Rik decided to find an opportunity where those recovering could not only socialize but working on specific skills like memory retention or motor coordination.
Kuether Brain and Spine loves and respects the mission of Sarah Bellum and could not be more excited to see an organization like this exist in its community. Kuether Brain and Spine knows how difficult the long-lasting impacts of brain injuries can be and hope that Sarah Bellum provides a safe haven and place of growth for those members of our community.