PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- An acclaimed chef in Philadelphia is giving back through a cozy new initiative, designed to help women thousands of miles away.
The owner of Essen Bakery is combining two things to make this happen: babkas and blankets.
Tova DuPlessis, the bakery's owner and a repeat James Beard nominee, is known for her baked goods in the Passyunk neighborhood of Philadelphia.
DuPlessis wants to user her skills to offer a helping hand in South Africa, where she grew up.
Since she opened Essen in 2016, DuPlessis has specialized in Jewish baked goods and coffee. Now for Women's History Month, she's using her love of baked goods to help others.
Her initiative, Babkas and Blankets, aims to help impoverished women in South Africa.
"Every time you donate $36, you get a limited edition babka," she said.
The blankets are also for sale, and the proceeds benefit a South African charity called Fingertips of Africa.
"It provides jobs to the women who sew the items, but it also provides the items for people in need," explained DuPlessis.
The sewing academy also creates products, like reusable sanitary pads for young girls.
"A lot of girls can't afford disposable sanitary pads, which keeps them home from school," said DuPlessis. "And besides just missing school, it also makes them more susceptible to crime."
So, DuPlessis decided to help in any way she can.
"As an immigrant, it is important to me to give back to my home country, also knowing that my dollar goes very far there," she added.
Pickup dates for the blankets are March 25 and March 26.