Icing Smiles is one of my favorite non-profit organizations! They provide custom celebration cakes and other treats to families impacted by the critical illness of a child. Simple things, like a birthday cake, are often luxuries to a family battling illness, and Icing Smile’s goal is to provide a temporary escape from worry and create a positive memory during a difficult time through a custom cake for the ill child, or their sibling.
The way it works, in short, is that families with a medical child may apply online for a cake. Once eligibility is determined, the family is matched with a volunteer baker in their area who will create and donate a custom cake based on the child’s interests or theme of celebration. The family may request a cake for a birthday, to celebrate end of treatment, or other milestone.
Having baked several cakes, I can tell you that this experience is extremely rewarding and can have as much impact on the volunteer as it provides for the family! It’s incredible to meet these children and families, to see their courage and bravery as they face life threatening battles. The most recent cake I made was for Dominic’s birthday. He and his family are a tremendous inspiration. They have such a positive attitude in spite of what they are going through.
In addition to baking for IS, I have held various volunteer administrative positions for the past 5 years. As State Representative, I matched families with bakers in the area. Although this is all done through emails, I had the opportunity to connect and correspond with many amazing families and volunteers. One of those families was Dominic’s, as his younger brother, Ciarlo, was born with spina bifida and we have served the family with several cakes over the years. I cannot explain the sadness that came over me when I got the email asking me to make a cake for Dominic as he had just been diagnosed with a tumor in his brain. Dominic’s eighth birthday was coming up and the community had planned a huge celebration and I was making the cake! Dominic loves minions. As my children are grown, I had to research what his favorite minion looked like and I even made a small cake with Ciarlo’s favorite. It was incredible to meet this family and see their strength and smiles and to experience the support of the community at this event. As I am writing this today, Dominic begins his second round of chemo. Please feel free to follow and support this very special family at Pray for Dominic https://www.facebook.com/dominicneedsprayer
Icing smiles has grown from serving about 50 cakes in its first year, to now having served over 10,000. There are over 8000 volunteers and more than 80 cake requests come in each week. There is a tremendous amount of work that happens behind the scenes to make all these cakes happen. In addition to personally volunteering, Frosted Cake Studio is happy to be the Pennsylvania State Sponsor. This sponsorship helps with some of the cost of business registrations, promotional materials to be made available to medical families, and providing tax documentation to our baking partners.
Below are the cakes I have donated to Icing Smiles families over the years