“It’s lighthearted and fun to have a day where you randomly bring muffins,” said Berkeley High School (BHS) student Benjamin Lemkin. “I know that if I was walking around and somebody [offered] me a muffin, it would brighten my day. To be able to do that for [the BHS community] is great.”
Lemkin, a senior in Academic Choice (AC), is responsible for bringing International Muffin Day to BHS and founding the Muffin Club this year.
On February 3, the Muffin Club baked and distributed muffins to the BHS community.
“I just started bringing muffins on February 3 in seventh grade. I’d bake around 100 or so muffins and just sort of hand them out to people,” Lemkin said. “[The idea] was sort of random, like, what if there was a day where I brought muffins to school?”
The day originally started as a joke between Lemkin and his friends in seventh grade, but later on he sought to build on it and make the holiday more official.
“I just kept handing out muffins until it [became] an annual tradition,” Lemkin said. “I thought to try to expand on it and see where it could go.”
The goal of Lemkin’s creation of International Muffin Day was to bring joy, lightheartedness, and humor to the BHS community.
“It was inspired by just being able to brighten everyone’s day,” Lemkin said. “The look on people’s faces when you say ‘Want a free muffin?’ [is] warm. It’s nice to try to get that to everyone.”
The official Muffin Club at BHS was started this year after a previous unsuccessful attempt to create the club in Lemkin’s freshman year.
Lemkin felt the club could expand and bake more muffins on International Muffin Day if it was more organized and included more people in the effort.
On February 3, the club held its first International Muffin Day at BHS.
Club members, along with a few staff members, baked over 1,000 muffins to distribute to students and staff.
“We collected all the muffins and started handing them out to people,” Lemkin said.
According to Lemkin, International Muffin Day at BHS was relatively spontaneous, with the exact plan and location not being finalized until a few days before the event.
Despite the challenges, however, the club was able to get the event off the ground and successfully give out muffins.
Aiden Thompson, a sophomore in Berkeley International High School (BIHS), received a muffin on International Muffin Day and thought the day was a success.
“The club gave out muffins for free and they were surprisingly good,” Thompson said. “They had a lot of different flavors. It definitely improved my lunchtime experience.”
“Even though I didn’t get a muffin on International Muffin Day, I think it’s a fantastic way for students to show they care for their community at BHS,” said Linden Koshland, sophomore in BIHS. “The day connects students and the broader BHS community.”
In addition to club members, who baked the majority of the muffins, a few staff members participated in the baking marathon, contributing more muffins to hand out to the students.
“I baked 90-something, maybe 80 muffins,” said Molly Offermann, a BIHS academic counselor. “I thought it would be really fun to see kids carrying around muffins and giving them to other kids. … That’s why I participated.”
Similar to Lemkin’s vision for International Muffin Day, Offermann viewed the day as a way to bring joy to the BHS community and connect students through muffins.
“It makes people happy,” Offermann said, when asked about the benefits of International Muffin Day and handing out muffins. “Or sick if they’re gluten free,” she added.
As the club was only able to distribute a limited quantity of muffins to students on February 3, a second muffin day was held as an opportunity for students to get one if they did not.
AC seniors Silas Freeling and Max Huneeus, who help lead the Muffin Club, successfully distributed over 1,000 muffins to students again on March 15.
“As the famous President John F. Kennedy once said, ‘Ask not what your muffin can do for you, but what you can do for your muffin,’” Freeling said.