Cutting cake on birthdays is a tradition most of us follow without a second thought. But every year, there are many with the social or financial disadvantages who do not have candles to blow or cakes to cut.
Allison Wachen, a sophomore at Churchill High School, decided to ensure every person received a cake on their birthday by starting the Montgomery County chapter of Birthday Cakes 4 Free. The non-profit organization aims to bake, decorate, and deliver free birthday cakes. The chapter donates at least 15 cakes a month to 5 charities in the community, including the Children in Action Program, Becky’s House, Green Tree Shelter of the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, and Community Vision Day Program of Interfaith Works.
For Wachen, baking has always been a passion. She wanted to get involved with the organization because she had always been asked by her parents what type of cake she wanted on her birthday. But for some seniors and children, they couldn’t just ask for one. “Birthday Cakes 4 Free allows me to combine my love of baking, cake-decorating, and hanging out with friends, while giving back to the community and helping someone who would not receive a birthday cake otherwise,” Wachen said.
Although the organization has made significant progress in the past few months, things have not always gone smoothly. Members originally thought they were going to be a club at Churchill High School, but school administration did not approve. Ironically, there was a tremendous support system within the student body and throughout the county, so the Montgomery County chapter blossomed regardless.
For those who are interested in joining the organization but lack any sort of baking talent, there is no need to worry. All skill levels are welcome, and the only requirement is that you bake two cakes every six months and deliver it to the respective charity. As an added bonus, 3 SSL hours are given for every cake delivered to certain charities.
The organization hopes to see involvement steadily increase in the future. With almost 70 birthday cakes under their belt, the MoCo chapter hopes to have 150 cakes by the end of the school year, and 500 cakes by the end of Allison’s graduation year, 2018.
If you are interested in joining or have any questions, please visit their website and submit an inquiry at www.birthdaycakes4freemocomd.com. You can also follow the action on their Instagram (bc4fmoco) and Facebook (Birthday Cakes 4 Free Montgomery County Chapter).
Article by MoCo Student Community Writer Inuri Abeysekara of Sherwood High School