I started Bake-a-Wish Miami in 2011 during the summer after 8th grade. My water polo team had visited the Miami Rescue Mission for a community service project to read with the kids in the after school reading program there. I fell in love with the kids and wanted to do something nice for them, so I started baking birthday cakes for each child's birthday. Since then, Bake-A-Wish has added 3 other groups, including the after school program at Virrick Park and Esther Armbrister Park in Coconut Grove, Florida and Casa Valentina, a program for kids transitioning out of foster care and into the world. We also bake birthday cakes for the volunteers at these organizations. Our Bake-A-Wish team (which is comprised of 6 girls, ages 11-18) will bake almost 500 cakes this year. We bake every week and deliver a fresh cake on or a few days before the actual birthday of each child. We deliver every week. Below is an email I received this morning from the reading program director, Marty Steinberger:
(Hi Katie, So I know that week after week it can’t be easy to get all those cakes baked. But I just want to thank you again. I wish that you could see what we see and hear what we hear about how much the cakes mean. This week there was one that meant so much that one of the READ ON volunteers was in tears because a third grade boy told her that he got a cake this year, only yours, for his birthday.…his family was evicted from their home the day before his birthday..the possessions on the street kind of eviction. He has worn the same shirt all week and it’s for sure that he wouldn’t have had a birthday celebration at all without you. He was so happy about that cake. All that baking is huge to these kids and families. Thanks, Marty)
A cake seems like such a little thing, I know. But we believe that the little things make a big difference and that every child should feel special on their birthday. Thanks for reading!
Funded by Miami, FL (November 2014)