For Scott Sassack, the owner of Great Harvest Bread Co. in Grand Blanc, excellent customer service and giving to others is ingrained in him. Eighteen years ago, he went into business with his father, bought Great Harvest Bread Co., and hasn’t looked back since. Tanya Sassack, Scott’s wife, and their twin daughters, Rebekah and Gabby, are familiar faces at the family-run bakery.
The entire Sassack family can share stories of long hours tempered by the enjoyment they find in operating their business and giving back to the community. Scott says. “Our mission statement is ‘Give generosity to others.'”
One way Great Harvest gives back is through “Baker For a Day”.
For almost 17 years, Scott has opened his shop on Sunday to bake exclusively for an organization or person who needs help. That entire day 100% of the proceeds go to the organizations or individuals. “I love doing it, and I know my business better than anybody,” Scott says. “I’ll never stop doing it. Helping others out is in people’s DNA. You’re a part of a community, and you need to step in.” When you meet Scott and his family, the authentic kindness and generosity you experience are as comforting as the smell of fresh-baked bread. They are a family grateful for their blessings.
When crisis hit the Sassack family, they had to shift from continually giving and sharing to relying on support from others. It happened almost overnight. Rebekah woke one day with pain in her ribs and pressure on her chest. Initially, doctors believed she was fighting pneumonia, but the treatment wasn’t working. Her white blood cell count was skyrocketing, and the doctors had no choice but to transfer her to Hurley Children’s Hospital.
Rushed by ambulance to the Level II Pediatric trauma center, Rebekah was met at the entrance by a medical team ready to spring into action. The team included a trauma surgeon, an intensivist (a board-certified physician who attends to critically ill patients), an infectious disease specialist, and a nurse the family said would soon become “their rock.” They discovered Rebekah was suffering from a bacterial infection. Her lung was 45% collapsed, and she couldn’t get any air through it. Her body was in a potentially fatal state of sepsis. Rebekah needed surgery immediately–two life-saving surgeries, to be exact. After seven days in the hospital, Rebekah was released from the hospital in time for Thanksgiving with her family. She faced a long road ahead. It took a full six months for her lungs to heal, but today she has made a full recovery and is even participating in long-distance running.
Since that time at Hurley, the entire Sassack family has been proactive in supporting Hurley Children’s Hospital, designated as a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. They see the medical team that, through God’s grace, saved Rebekah’s life as an extension of their family. So inspired were they by the support they received at Hurley, the Sassacks have recently announced they are dedicated to raise as much as they can over the year.
Their devotion to Hurley extends beyond monetary donations. The twins, Gabby and Rebekah, are grateful to be healthy, hanging out together, and cheering on other kids in the hospital. Shortly after Rebekah’s illness, the twins’ middle school raised almost $3,000 for Hurley. Last Christmas, they participated in “Glow for Miracles,” an event where members of the community gather outside the hospital on a designated night in December to wave glow sticks up to the pediatric patients, wishing them goodnight. The twins were spotted outside with their mom, waving and smiling ear to ear, as the children in the hospital waved back with glow sticks of their own. The family attended Hurley’s Benefit Ball as Miracle Family ambassadors in 2017.
Scott and Tanya’s dedication to serving their community while teaching their children the value of helping others along their journeys is genuinely inspiring. The entire family radiates joy in life that they share with others all year long, so it’s no wonder they’re serving up the most wholesome sustenance to the community.
If you’re in the neighborhood, you can stop by Great Harvest Bread Co. in Grand Blanc and say, “Hi.” Scott recommends the Sonoma, toasted, with peanut butter.
Kudos Magazine Volume 6.2