I had the coolest experience a couple of weeks back! Let me tell you about it!
Part of this job is to network and connect with other like minded bakers, bloggers and social media accounts. Blogging isn't just writing posts, its connecting with readers and other writers through social media accounts. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. My favorite being Instagram. I find so much inspiration and neat ideas there. Plus I've met some really cool people all across the world. I've even met and worked with a girl who lives in Greece and makes the coolest dessert jewellery.
One day I was doing my regular Instagram scroll and I came across an account called Icing Smiles Canada. Here is the description found on their website.
Icing Smiles is a nonprofit organization that provides custom celebration cakes and other treats to families impacted by the critical illness of a child. We understand that the simple things, like a birthday cake, are luxuries to a family battling illness. Our goal is to create a custom cake for the ill child, or their sibling, that provides a temporary escape from worry and creates a positive memory during a difficult time. We feel strongly that siblings are the unsung heroes in these families. They consistently put their own lives on hold and sacrifice the attention of their parents while their families are helping the medical child.
Memories have magical powers. Long after the cake is gone, the memories linger. Memories of the kindness of a stranger, of the art of the design, of the sweet smells of a special treat, of the smiles and laughs, of a normal childhood experience so often stolen from these children. These memories are why we say, "It is so much more than a cake."
I love everything about this organization! What a cool way to use the talents that God has given me to give back to others! I just knew I had to get involved so I applied to bake for them!
I waited for a couple of months and at the end of August I got an email asking if I could make a fun cake for a young girl in September. She lived about an hour away and they were looking for a fun and colorful cake.
This right here is why I do what I do! Not everyone can afford to purchase a super fancy cake but I believe we all deserve something ultra special to celebrate who we are! So I try and offer recipes, ideas and video tutorials so anyone can learn to make their own special creations!
Back to the cake. The way it works is Icing Smiles offers two types of cakes for their families: Dream Cakes and Fun Cakes.
Dream cakes are tiered, 3-dimensional (3D) or carved cakes. These cakes require signification amount of labour hours and have a "WOW" factor. Each child is currently allowed one under our program.
Fun cakes do not have all the elements of a Dream Cake but are still special to each child. These cakes can be used by the family for other events. Fun cakes are typically sheet cakes or single tier cakes that are customized for the child.
I was asked to make a Fun cake. The family gives the theme but the design is totally up to me. There was no so specific theme, just colorful. Thankfully there are so many fun ideas that are bright and colorful. I just had to decide which one to execute.
Fast forward to the week of...
The cake is finished and the family was picking the cake up Saturday morning. It was Friday and I realized I had forgotten to purchase a cake box. They were traveling almost an hour and the cake needed to be in a box. I didn't have time to run into the city and no store in town carried one. So I posted in our local mommy Facebook group asking if anyone had one. A couple ladies said they wouldn't mind picking one up for me when they went later in the day.
A friend mentioned she was going at 4pm and could pick one up then. I agreed and thanked her. A few minutes later a stranger, let's call her Michelle, messaged me saying she was there right now and could pick it up. I took her up on her offer and told my friend that I had it covered.
Four o clock rolls around and I message Michelle asking when I could pick up the box. She responded saying "oh my goodness I totally forgot I am so sorry! I will go back right now! " I immediately told her that it was fine and not to rush out there and that I would figure something out. She insisted that she would find one for me in town. She drives to the local grocery store bakery and asks if she could buy a box off of them and they told her no. They were unable to sell the boxes. She explained the story and asked if they would give her one instead. Again no.
So she decided to buy a cake, that way they would have to give her a box! Lol I felt terrible that she ended up having to buy a cake. She insisted that it was totally fine and now her family had dessert that evening. I thanked her, picked up the box and went home.
The next day the father of the child comes by and picks up the cake. We started chatting; he showed me pictures and he told me all about their little girl and the challenges she has faced since birth. Amazing what some families go through! She is so adorable and he said she was doing well! I was so honored to help that sweet girl smile on her special day!
I felt compelled to let Michelle know that her good deed didn't go unnoticed. I explained the situation, and the little girls story.
Michelle immediately messaged me back overwhelmed and in tears. She explained she had lost a little girl years ago that struggled with the exact same health issues!! She couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it.
We were shocked at the connection. It truly was meant to be. A way for complete strangers to come together, help each other and find some healing! I was in tears, Michelle was in tears and my husband was amazed She had no idea why I needed that box but she was a sweet lady willing to help out a stranger and instead was touched as well!
This is what I love most of all. It's not just about the cake! It's how it brings us together to celebrate each other!
I encourage you to find ways to help others in any situation. You never know when God will use you to bring a smile or healing to a stranger 💗
To learn more about this organization and how you can get involved check out their website www.icingsmiles.ca