May 12, 2011 in Washington Voices

Nonprofit’s cakes help kids in need

Group’s goal is 200 cakes by year’s end
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Volunteer bakers across Spokane help Free Cakes For Kids provide birthday cakes for low-income children.
(Full-size photo)

Map of this story's location
Coming up

A benefit party for Free Cakes For Kids will be Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Catarina Winery, 905 N. Washington St. The evening will feature wine and appetizers by Feast Catering, dessert from Mizuna chef Alison Collins and music by Kari Margeurite and the 76. Monetary donations as well as donations of nonperishable baking items (cake mix, flour, sugar, baking powder) are welcome. The program also needs big boxes for cake transportation.

Tickets will be $15 at the door. The evening will be hosted by Spokane-based Market Vision.

For more information, go to www.freecakesforkidsspokane.com.

Everyone knows what it’s like to read about a great organization in a magazine and wonder if Spokane couldn’t benefit from something like that. Sometimes that’s as far as it goes, but not for Kelly Eggleston. When she read about Georgia-based Free Cakes For Kids, she knew right away she wanted to get involved.

“I picked up the phone and called the lady in Georgia,” said Eggleston. “And then it went on from there.”

Free Cakes For Kids is a nonprofit organization that connects volunteer bakers with people 18 or younger who can’t afford a birthday cake.

“I talked to a mom the other day and all her son wanted for his birthday was pizza and a cake,” said Eggleston. “She was in tears because she didn’t know if she could even afford the pizza.”

Eggleston began setting up Free Cakes For Kids locally in fall 2008. By April 2009 the program delivered its first cake.

“We have a network of bakers and they coordinate with the family and do the best they can,” said Eggleston. “Sometimes there are special wishes or themes – we just do the very best we can.”

Last year, the group delivered 150 cakes, and this year volunteers have baked 12 cakes a month so far with a goal of reaching 200 by the end of the year.

“We always need more volunteer bakers,” said Eggleston. “We have a group of high school kids that bakes for us. And we sometimes go to Idaho – we really need bakers in Coeur d’Alene.”

The group has never had a fundraiser before, said Eggleston.

“We have never been able to purchase supplies for our bakers or anything like that,” she said.

Children are referred to Free Cakes For Kids by social services organizations like SNAP, Olive Crest and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

“These are very low-income children,” said Eggleston. “For some of the kids, this cake is all they are going to get for their birthday.”


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