There are many notable partnerships in the Northern region, but a sweet one that I want to highlight is called Cakes4Kids. According to their website, “Cake4Kids partners with agencies that support youth (ages 1-24) who are at-risk or underserved, including youth in foster care, group homes, homeless shelters, transitional and low income housing and more vulnerable populations. What Libby, the founder, started in 2010 as a grassroots efforts with a few volunteers baking 13 cakes for a few agencies, has turned into quite a robust operation with hundreds of volunteers currently baking over 3,000 cakes per year for over 140 agencies!”
In April 2019, Mary Campbell started the Northern Virginia Chapter that serves youth from Fairfax and DC. Some of UMFS’ and Project LIFE’s youth crossover into the population and location that this Cakes4Kids chapter covers. As the Northern regional consultant, I am always trying to make connections for youth and workers and jumped on this collaboration. While Project LIFE does a lot of skills training, it’s wonderful to partner with other people who also care deeply about the youth and can support them in others ways, like birthday cakes!
Just in March, UMFS Family Champion Volunteers showed some seriously out-of-this-world birthday love for a youth in foster care. Family Champion volunteers are helping young people in foster care celebrate their special day, and they’re doing so by collaborating with the community to find COVID-safe ways to do so. For one young person in care, family volunteers provided birthday balloons and a Star Wars themed cake, courtesy of the Cakes4Kids volunteer bakers . Learn more about Family Champion volunteer opportunities at UMFS.org/volunteer.
What sweetens the deal even more is that the partnership has exponentially risen from where it started. Cakes4Kids will be supporting the celebrations for all of UMFS’ foster care kids and youth out of the NOVA office. In fact, they provided a cake for a sweet 16 birthday today!