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Bake a Birthday Cake for an Underprivileged Child

by Kathy Bruins
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Perhaps nothing symbolizes a birthday more than a cake adorned with candles. Yet while many of us take having a birthday cake for granted, there are children who miss out on receiving this simple, yet special, pleasure on their big day.

In economically challenged homes, birthday cakes are sometimes an unaffordable luxury when compared to competing priorities for medicine, clothes, and rent. As a result, many children living in poverty do not have birthday parties to celebrate their life. Compounded with other struggles they face, underprivileged children may come to believe that their life is unimportant, which can lead to a victim mentality, apathy, crime, drug abuse, or countless other negative responses to low self-esteem.

Children need experiences in which they are shown that they are valued. When kids see a birthday cake with their name on it, they know that the occasion is just for them. Doesn’t every child deserve to have that moment of being the star?

The good news is that you can help underprivileged children celebrate their life by donating a birthday cake via a youth club for the group to share. Your birthday cake can show a child that he or she is cared about and important. The celebrating also provides a good model to other children of how to be happy for someone else. These experiences create healthy thought patterns and help children to succeed in life.

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Kids birthday cakes are fun to make. If you don’t already have your own favorite recipe, see these ideas from Wilton, Betty Crocker, and Kraft.

You can learn how to decorate birthday cakes by taking classes or lessons without even leaving your house! Wilton offers classes online so you can learn how to make beautiful cakes anytime, anywhere. Craftsy also has a selection of online cake decorating classes, as do Joann Fabric and Craft stores and Michaels. A decorated cake that is wrapped correctly can stay frozen for up to three months. Freeze a frosted cake by putting it in the freezer uncovered until the frosting hardens. Then, carefully wrap the cake in plastic wrap and foil and return it to the freezer. A recipient youth club would only need to defrost the cake and add the child's name using a small tube of piping gel (available in the baking aisle of your local grocery store).

To find recipient organizations for your birthday cakes, check with your local Boys and Girls Club of America or United Way children's program. You also can check for interest in children's birthday cakes at local missions, women's shelters, and religious institutions with youth activity groups.

Before making the cake, first contact the director of a children's program. You might be asked to deliver your decorated cake to the organization to store and use when needed, or you might be given some dates of upcoming birthdays to choose from to bring a cake on that day. Also ask whether you should make a cake for kids with special dietary needs, such as gluten free, nut-free, or dairy-free. 

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