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Friends Come Up With Celebration Cakes Ministry to Help Children in Need

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In Bowing Green, Kentucky, friends Lisa Ray and Patty McTighe discovered last year that many low-income children in the area had never received a birthday cake of their own. Sensing an opportunity to put a bright spot in someone’s day, the two teamed up and began Celebration Cakes Ministry, using space provided by their church, the First Baptist Church.

In the months since it began, the ministry has grown to 20 volunteers who meet at church several times a week to bake up custom birthday cakes for lucky kids. The ministry has also received several awards for their services, including the 2014 Emerging Nonprofit Organization of the Year from Western Kentucky University.

No one participating in Celebration Cakes Ministry had prior experience baking custom made cakes. Instead, they learned as they went along, watching YouTube videos and reading up on tips thanks to the internet. McTighe and Ray aren’t worried about perfection; the cake-making is supposed to be fun for the volunteers and the kids who receive the custom birthday cakes.

“All the skills are self-taught,” McTighe explains in an interview with The Republic. “All you have to do is like to play with Play-Doh and make children happy.” Social workers, family resource centers at local schools, and other organizations working with children in need are the primary sources of referrals for kids who need a cake. They provide information to the group about each child’s interests, favorite colors, and more.

“These kids, some of them are going through a hard time, and just one little thing like a cake can brighten their day, and that’s what makes it worth it,” says Ray. The speciality birthday cakes the group has produced have been praised by these organizations, who say that the cakes look like they come from birthday cake shops and that it “means the world” to the children who receive them. Even though the volunteers typically don’t see the reaction of the child who receives the cake, social workers and others working with the children make sure to let them know how much they were appreciated.

Do you know how to make specialty cakes? Would you make them for a child in need? Let us know in the comments. Helpful sites.

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