by Sarah Gordon
Copy Editor, ’14, Painting & Drawing
For sisters Linda Burt and Sally Harrison, starting a student-centered business was a natural progression from a lifetime of teaching. These two Wisconsin-born educators have dedicated their lives to helping students all around the world.
Dr. Harrison has traveled across the United States, helping to start innovative new schools and creating modern teaching environments for all ages. Ms. Burt spent years battling low budgets, natural disasters, and cultural prejudices to teach underprivileged children in Saipan, a small island in the South Pacific.
Now approaching retirement, neither intends to end their lifelong goals of helping students. Their new business, Comfort Sweets, will provide care packages of freshly-baked goods for college students. Burt and Harrison believe LaGrange is the perfect location to launch their new venture. “There is an energy, an intelligence, and a spirit that comes from students, and that’s very healthy for a town,” Dr. Harrison remarks. “The college, the involvement of the Callaway Foundation, and the local arts really attracted us to LaGrange.”
Burt and Harrison have arrived in LaGrange to do more than just satisfy the college’s sweet tooth, however. They know that academic success involves three parties: the school, the students, and the parents. They hope to integrate themselves into the college’s culture by providing a way for parents to stay involved in the lives of their college-aged children.
“Parents are the single most important facet in shaping their child’s well being, achievement and prospects – no matter how old a child gets,” Burt contends. “There is a powerful association between parental involvement and student achievement.”
In this way, Comfort Sweets will act as a link between parents and students, fostering continued support between families. Goods from home can comfort and encourage students who may feel homesick or stressed, especially students who travel long distances to go to college or who may have a hard time adjusting to campus life.
“Unfortunately, care packages can be a bit more complicated than they might seem,” Burt explains.
“Many parents work full time and may not have the luxury of baking homemade items – and that’s where we come in.”
Currently, Comfort Sweets care packages include baked goods, with anything from chocolate chip cookies to miniature apple pies. Parents can order gifts for their children, or students can order surprises for their friends. Burt and Harrison will then design, assemble, and deliver these packages to students.
In addition, these two sisters have bigger plans for the future. Soon, parents will have the option of ordering “stress kits” for finals, get-well kits, and holiday packages. Comfort Sweets will even personalize the deliveries for each student, including favorite candy bars or small items to remind that girl or boy of home.
If you are interesting in learning more about this business or ordering a care package, contact Linda Burt and Sally Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 706-668-6099.