This is the sixth year for the 15-year-old A.C. Jones High School sophomore to have the sale in her home.
“My passion for volunteering and serving for the community began at a very young age,” Christina said.
She joined the Daisy Girl Scouts at the age of nine and then moved up to become a Brownie Troop member.
She also began visiting nursing homes and collecting canned goods for food drives.
It was in 2009 that Christina discovered the “Share Our Strength’s Great American Bake Sale — No Kid Hungry” campaign.
She immediately became interested in seeing that children everywhere had enough to eat.
Since then Christina has held her bake sale each summer on her front porch, offering goodies she cooked up herself in the kitchen in her home.
The money she raises goes straight to the organization. A number of corporate sponsors also provide funding for the effort.
They include Domino Sugar, Duncan Hines, the Food Network and Family Circle Magazine.
“Share Our Strength ensures that children in need are enrolled in federal nutrition programs like school lunch and breakfasts,” Christina said.
The program also teaches at-risk families how to cook healthy, affordable meals.
Only one dollar can help provide 10 healthy meals for some child who does not have enough to eat, Christina said.
The goal is to end childhood hunger by 2015. By bringing the event to Beeville, Christina said she is learning management skills, organization, planning and public relations.
A couple of benefits on the side include learning creative baking and enjoying the support of her family.
Oh, the effort also pays off when Christina appears on live television in Corpus Christi to promote her sale.
Beeville native Rudy Treviño and Barbi Leo invite Christina to appear on their Domingo Live Sunday morning show on KIII, Channel 3, each year.
In addition, the experience has given Christina a new role, that of mentor for other young girls who want to learn to do volunteer work.
“Mentoring makes my heart happy,” Christina said.
Her regular customers mostly include family, friends and neighbors. But she also enjoys the visits from local adult activity centers and business owners.
“My favorite customers are my little neighbors that drive up on their bikes with hearty appetites and pocket change,” Christina said.
This year, she will be selling an all-time favorite, lemon bars, along with her cakes and cookies.
“One year, my famous upside down pineapple cake sold for $100. Customers tell me they look forward to my bake sale every summer. This, indeed, has become a summer family tradition.”
“My motto is, ‘It’s not how much you raise; it’s the difference you make with what you raise,’” Christina said.
In the last five years Christina said she has raised more than $2,000 for the effort. In 2010, the proceeds of her sale went to help the victims of an earthquake in Haiti.
The confidence Christina has gained through her volunteer work has led to several other honors over the years.
She has been elected vice president of her student body; she has served on the student council in middle school; she was nominated for the Distinguished Youth of Texas Scholarship and Recognition Program which recognizes young girls for academic achievement, and she was honored as Little Miss of Texas Top School and Community Achiever. She was the third runner-up in 2010 and the first runner-up in 2011 in the Young Miss of Texas program and was chosen as Miss Teen Western Week for 2012-13.
“These titles I hold dear to my heart,” Christina said.
This year, she won the Violet Richardson scholarship from Soroptimist International of Beeville.
Christina has received a letter from first lady Michelle Obama and was honored in February as “Someone to Know” by KIII-TV for her community service.
She is also the captain of the junior varsity cheerleaders at A.C. Jones High School and is involved in the Upward Bound program at Coastal Bend College.
Christina is the daughter of Victor and Daisy Hinojosa and Gabriel and Tracy Perez.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5220, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.