Home LifestyleCareer This Local Baking Non-Profit Makes Sure Everyone Celebrates Their Birthday

This Local Baking Non-Profit Makes Sure Everyone Celebrates Their Birthday

by Jordan and Joelle Hernandez
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

What started as finding out about a surprising but simple fact from a friend has turned into a national mission to spread cheer for hundreds. The non-profit organization For Goodness Cakes was founded in 2016 by Jamie Lehman in her California apartment after learning that her friend had never received a birthday cake. Now six years and 9,000 cakes later, For Goodness Cakes is a national organization providing birthday cakes to children and spreading cheer. We connected with New Jersey Chapter Co-Leaders Brittany Cella and Amanda Fierro to learn more about the organization and what exactly a member of a “Sprinkle Squad” is.

for goodness cakes north jersey

(Photo credit: For Goodness Cakes)

The Background

It all started with just four cakes. After learning about her friend’s experience, founder Jamie knew there must be more children and adults in various economic or at-risk situations that would prevent celebrating a birthday with a simple cake from happening. When she called and asked a local foster agency if she could bake cakes for them, they said yes, so she baked, decorated, and dropped off four homemade cakes. That was the start of For Goodness Cakes.

With over 400,000 foster youth in the United States and foster children moving locations up to 10 times per year in some cases, Jamie knew there had to be many missed birthdays. In an interview with the director of Stepping Forward LA, a benefiting agency, they shared that birthdays for foster children are often overlooked or advancing in age could be cause for removal from a foster home making a birthday a burden. An organization like this allows for a pause in life for at-risk youth to know they are celebrated.

for goodness cakes north jersey

New Jersey Co-Lead Brittany shared, “For Goodness Cakes is a 100% volunteer-run organization, from the Executive Director all the way down to our newest baker. As chapter co-lead, it is our responsibility to reach out to new potential agencies to partner with us, reach out to new potential volunteer bakers, engage, inspire, and empower our current volunteers.”

Amanda, the other New Jersey Co-Lead, chimed in on building partnerships, “We are looking for community involvement to find new partners and volunteer bakers up and down the state. The umbrella of who we serve is pretty big — we can partner with agencies that service kids in foster care, shelter programs, group homes, mental health programs, agencies that support LGBTQIA+ youth, and more.  We welcome any opportunity to discuss possible partnerships and ways to connect with volunteer bakers.”

Read More: Hoboken Residents Aim to Bake 50 Cookies in 52 Weeks — Inspired by Every State

Now and The Future

In early 2020, For Goodness Cakes had nine chapters nationwide. Now it has grown to 19 and the organization is looking to expand. Amanda walked through exciting changes with this expansion, “This growth led to a whole bunch of changes to make things more streamlined and accessible. Jaime worked for months to move all our chapter leader training online vs. the in-person summit training we had in the past. Incoming leaders now take four virtual training modules at their own pace instead of flying to California for three days. We also added three regional director positions to help onboard new leaders, and recently added a fundraising manager role. Our Chief Marketing Officer has also gone above and beyond with new logos, new branding, and processes to make sure our brand looks uniform across the country.”

for goodness cakes north jersey

(Photo credit: For Goodness Cakes)

When asked about expansion in New Jersey specifically, Amanda shared, “We hope to one day have three NJ chapters: North, Central, and South Jersey. We are looking for people in Central/South Jersey to work with and help us expand, especially because the NJ foster care system is designed in a way that a child could be in Sussex County one month, Cape May County the next, and we want to make sure that child can be celebrated wherever he/she is.” Brittany also chatted about hopes to have a presence in all 50 states to celebrate as many birthdays across the country as possible.

See More: Meet Tina Rivera, the Mastermind Behind Baking Mama

Getting Involved

Bakers of all experience levels are welcome to become part of the “Sprinkle Squad,” the affectionate term for all volunteers of For Goodness Cakes. All Sprinkle Squad members must complete the online orientation and then pick a cake from the task calendar. Completed cakes are dropped off with a staff member of the agency as the children are protected for privacy.

for goodness cakes north jersey

For those who love the mission of For Goodness Cakes but aren’t bakers, Brittany suggests ways to get involved, “Ways the community at large can get involved and assist us with our overall mission without baking include making a donation to the North Jersey chapter via our website or putting us in touch with local North Jersey agencies whose clients might benefit from our services.”

Potential volunteers can check out the website at www.forgoodnesscakes.org to learn more and to begin the sign-up process. Jaime says it best, “I don’t think that problems are solved when they get a cake, I think that problems start to heal. And sometimes healing takes a really long time. But, it has to start with someone. And why not start with a cake?”

read more button

also appears in

0 comment