Cakes are a staple of any birthday celebration, especially for children. But what about those who aren’t able to have a treat on their special day?
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Whether it be a little one from a low-income household or a child with no home at all, there are many kids who don’t get to experience the gifts many of us take for granted. Cake4Kids recognized this and chose to take action.
Founded in 2010 by Libby Gruender of Sunnyvale, California, the nonprofit has now expanded to 11 states, including their newest chapter in northern Utah.
With the help of volunteers, Cake4Kids creates custom desserts for underserved children, including kids in foster care or low-income after-school programs.
Becky Carroll, their Utah chapter ambassador, contacts the agencies that work with these little ones and arranges for them to get exactly what they want.
Although their mission is to give every child possible a cake, it’s about much more than that. They want to help these children feel seen and have something to call their own, as they often have little to no possessions.
“I think that, as adults, we often don’t enjoy celebrating our birthday as much,” Becky said. “We forget that it’s a really important thing for kids, and especially kids who are in difficult situations.”
The process is fairly simple: Once Becky finds out what a child would like, she passes the request along to the volunteers. This is where the magic truly begins! The Cake4Kids bakers use their skills (professional or otherwise) to create the custom treats. Most of their work is done from home, and there is no minimum commitment.
Once the cakes are made, volunteers drop them off at the agencies. They aren’t able to meet the kids for privacy reasons, but they get a taste of their work’s impact thanks to the excitement of the caseworkers. They also get to see some photos of beaming children next to their cakes.
It’s easy to think of baking a cake as a small gesture, but the impact these desserts have on the children and families who receive them is astounding.
“Their birthdays can be forgotten or just totally ignored,” Becky said, “and so to honor them with something that they specifically chose – and we always put their name on the cake – I think it just helps to help them have a special day and a happy memory around birthdays, rather than just being in a shelter and having it be forgotten.”
What a beautiful way to bring joy to these children’s lives! Keep up the amazing work, Cake4Kids!
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