September 19, 2022
It was 2019, and I was scrolling social media when I saw it: an old friend from college had baked a birthday cake for a child in foster care through a nonprofit called For Goodness Cakes. I searched it on Google and started learning about its mission. It matches volunteers to make and hand-deliver birthday or graduation cakes for at-risk or underprivileged youth; this was something I could get on board with!
I searched for a chapter near me, but I was disappointed to learn that there were none in Michigan. But as I kept scrolling, I came across the prompt, “Don’t want to wait? Curious about starting a chapter?” I started to entertain the thought of starting a chapter but quickly dismissed it. I’m a social worker and mother; who am I to start a nonprofit chapter? I pushed the thought to the back of my mind and continued with life, hoping that someone else would start the chapter eventually.
I spent the next few years working in a community mental health setting, doing mental health therapy with kids, teens, and families. One of my favorite things to do was surprise youth on their birthdays with a ‘Happy Birthday’ banner hanging from the ceiling, balloons, and a special treat. We would spend the session celebrating them and everything that made them wonderful. Words can hardly describe the joy written on their faces and their smiles that shone brightly at being celebrated simply because they existed.
Years passed, and I continued to follow the amazing work that For Goodness Cakes was doing in other states. I would occasionally think about what it would be like to have that here in Michigan, in a state where I knew there was so much need for this type of goodness. Then, the perfect time came.
My family moved out of the state for a year, and with three young children, my role transitioned to stay-at-home mom. I found myself wanting to do something outside the walls of my home even more. In September 2021, I pushed aside my self-doubts, took the leap, and submitted a request to start a chapter of For Goodness Cakes in Detroit. And as of August 2022, the For Goodness Cakes Detroit chapter is officially open!
I wanted to start a For Goodness Cakes chapter because I believe that no matter who you are, where you’re from, how old you are, your background or history, all people – especially underprivileged youth – deserve validation. Validation that they are special and worthy of love and celebration. I think there is much power in little acts done with great love.
If you’d like to join this amazing community, we would love for you to join the Detroit chapter. There are numerous ways to get involved. You can:
When it comes to baking, you can be a novice, master baker, or anywhere in between. The only requirement is to bake with love and have a desire to spread joy, love, and frosting! Registering is easy, and the training is only 30 minutes, followed by a quick food safety quiz. As a Sprinkle Squad member, you can bake as frequently as you like. Do you only have time to bake once a year? Great! Once a month? Also, great! Check out forgoodnesscakes.org to see some of the amazing work that’s already being done across the country. Join me and come be a part of the magic we are going to sprinkle across Detroit.
Together, let’s BAKE the world a better place!
Written by Jaime Luczak, For Goodness Cakes Detroit Co-Chapter Leader