By Becky Carroll
Becky Carroll is the Northern Utah Ambassador for Cake4Kids, a non-profit organization that provides free, custom made birthday cakes to underserved children and youth.
Do you remember a special birthday? I remember a rainbow birthday cake my mom made for me one year. She painstakingly piped hundreds of little stars in different colors all over the cake. And it looked perfect! And when I think about that cake, I don’t remember what it tasted like, but the memory that stands out the most is watching my mom spend so much time making it just the way I wanted.
When I first learned that there are children whose birthdays go uncelebrated, it was hard to believe. Birthdays should be a magical celebration of childhood filled with friends and family and laughter. And, of course, cake. Or, if you’re like my brother, Jell-O (yuck!).
In December of 2020, just a few days before my own birthday, I discovered Cake4Kids. Their mission to deliver smiles to children one birthday cake at a time resonated deeply with me. From that time until April 2021 I worked with the Executive Director, Julie Eades, to open up the first Cake4Kids chapter in Utah.
Cake4Kids of Northern Utah is currently serving the area from Ogden to Logan. Volunteer bakers bake and deliver free, custom made birthday cakes to underserved children and youth ages 1-24. They may be in group homes, at a domestic violence or human trafficking shelter, in low-income housing with or without a parent, or even homeless. We aim to raise their self-esteem and confidence with a seemingly simple gift on their special day. It may just be a cake, but the children we bake for know that a stranger took the time and effort to do something special just for them.
The child or youth gets to request the cake of their birthday dreams. They choose the flavor, the theme, and the colors. And for those who don’t like cake, we have them covered too! From cupcakes and cookies to bars and brownies, we can do it (as long as it doesn’t require refrigeration. We don’t want any ice cream cakes melting in a volunteer’s car)! Even these other goodies will be delivered decorated and with a celebratory message. We also can create special treats for graduations, adoptions, and other celebrations. We do bake for the teen parent and their children, however we do not do baby showers.
If you are a case manager, social worker, or represent an agency with an office between Ogden and Logan, and are interested in receiving cakes for your clients, please visit https://www.cake4kids.org/who-we-help and submit your information on the contact page. Or, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 385-204-5187. I would love to chat with you about Cake4Kids and answer any questions you might have.
At Cake4Kids we don’t require any proof or qualification in order to fill a request. If they walk through your doors, that is good enough for us.
Cake requests are submitted with an easy-to-use online form. There you will enter in the information about the child and the cake they want. You can also note any allergies or special dietary needs. If the request is given with at least 2 weeks notice then it is guaranteed that they will receive a cake. If it is less than two weeks we can not guarantee, but we will do our best to find a baker. There hasn’t been a theme that our bakers haven’t been able to figure out yet, so don’t hold back on what the child wants.
I want to make sure that every child in Utah gets celebrated for the individual that they are! While we only serve Ogden-Logan right now, we are hoping to expand into the Salt Lake area in the future. If you interested in helping with operations in that area, please reach out to me. This is a volunteer position that will require time, passion, and commitment, but the rewards for me have been well worth every effort I have put into running the chapter.
Feedback from Agencies:
“The kids loved the treats for their end of school party! Their eyes were big and mouths watering!! The adult leaders were blown away at the goodies made just for this celebration. The goodies made it extra meaningful coming from caring, sweet individuals. These children felt extra kindness coming their way through your delicious donation.”
“Thank you so much for making a birthday extra special for one of our kiddos. His mom sent this message: “Cake was good and …’M’… and his friends liked it, especially the lollipops:) Thank you very much”. You are the BEST!!”