Baking birthday cakes for kids who otherwise would have none

NAMPA, Idaho (CBS 2) — “The cake we’re baking today is for a young girl who is six,” explained Mabry Brice, a volunteer baker with Cake4Kids.

Mabry Brice starts with a cake mix. No sin with that. But beyond the usual eggs and oil, Mabry adds her own touches such as milk instead of water and a 2/3 cup of sour cream. She said, “It just helps to enhance the flavors.”

The bakers donate both time and materials. There’s no reimbursement for the ingredients. Everything they use to make the cakes comes out of their own pantry and is paid for with their own money.

“I have five kids. And I love kids. So, to make a kid happy is kind of what I live for.”

The program impressed Courtney DeYager, a foster mom who recently got a cake for one of the girls in her care. “On the one hand, it’s just a cake,” said Courtney. “But on the other hand, you open up that box and this kiddo’s face lights up because their name is spelled out in icing with ‘Happy Birthday’ and figurines that they asked for. It’s really special.”

Courtney nominated Cake4Kids for a Pay It Forward.

Receiving the $500 donation from Angela Phillips with Mountain America Credit Union were Tracy Privari and Gwen Clark, the Cake4Kids ambassadors in the Treasure Valley. They started the Treasure Valley chapter back in February.

Gwen said, “I’m the behind-the-scenes girl. I’m helping partner with the agencies and I’m helping recruit bakers.”

In just a short time, Gwen and Tracy have signed on more than 100 bakers. “And we could use more,” said Tracy. “You have to have more bakers than you’re ever going to have requests. So that’s why we’re always recruiting volunteers.”

No back to Mabry’s cake. After sitting overnight in the freezer, it’s ready for the frosting and the decorations. For that, she’s enlisted her 17-year-old daughter, Amberly. She will create the princess, flowers, and other features that will “wow” the birthday girl.

Mother and daughter both took a class in cake design, but Mabry admits her daughter is the artist.

The next day, the cake is delivered to the Interfaith Sanctuary in Boise. Carla Velez, the family shelter program supervisor said, “We love Cake4Kids. Basically, it allows them to be home, to feel that they are important, not just for their parents and family, but also for the entire program. They get to share this with other kids in our program, with other families. It gets the kids out of their rooms. They get together in the dining room and share. I think that’s the most important thing: Being able to have access to these delicious cakes every month.”

COVID and privacy concerns prevent Mabry from giving the cake directly to the child or even seeing the birthday party. Still, the satisfaction of a cake well made and just knowing how it will make that child smile is reward enough. Mabry told us, “It’s not about the recognition. It’s just about knowing that someone is happy cakes make everyone happy.”

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NAMPA, Idaho (CBS 2) — “The cake we’re baking today is for a young girl who is six,” explained Mabry Brice, a volunteer baker with Cake4Kids. Mabry Brice starts with a cake mix. No sin with that. But beyond the usual eggs and oil, Mabry adds her own touches such as milk instead of water…

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