Nonprofit takes the cake ... then gives it away - Albuquerque Journal

Nonprofit takes the cake … then gives it away

A Spiderman birthday cake made by For Goodness Cakes volunteers. (Courtesy of Brittany Puckett)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

In the past two years, April Coring has baked 25 cakes and given them all away.

Her favorite was a dinosaur-themed cake complete with an edible volcano – not for her own two kids, now 17 and 19, but for a dino-obsessed boy that she’d never met.

Coring is a volunteer for the Albuquerque chapter of For Goodness Cakes, a nonprofit that partners with local social service agencies to bake and deliver birthday cakes to underpriviledged kids. The prolific baker leaves a toy on every cake she bakes.

“I want to give them something special, so they have something to remember the day by,” Coring said.

The Albuquerque chapter of For Goodness Cakes is hosting its biannual fundraising pop-up market Saturday at Salt Yard West.

The pop-up market will feature 38 vendors, performances by local bands Stray Dawgs, Juniper Roots and Todd Howell, and a raffle including such prizes as a dozen macarons or a free lunch for two.

Tania Parillo, volunteer organizer for the pop-up market and owner of Tania’s Tasty Kitchen, said their most recent event, in March, was a lot of work – but worth it.

“It was a lot,” Parillo said. “But, surprisingly, it was amazing.”

Parillo herself vended at their recent event in March and donated almost $700 personally from her profits.

Albuquerque chapter lead Brittany Puckett, who used to work in early childhood intervention, started the Albuquerque chapter of For Goodness Cakes in 2019. Currently, the chapter works with between 15 and 20 local agencies and has over 150 volunteers who bake cakes, cupcakes and other birthday sweets.

“I’ve always wanted to get back into giving back,” Puckett said. “I love birthdays, I want everyone to have their birthday celebrated. I love baking. And so, when I found this, it just kind of melded all of those things together for me.”

For Goodness Cakes was founded in California in 2016 by Jamie Lehman.

Coring said that volunteers receive a brief for each baking project that describes what flavors, colors and interests the kids like.

After baking the cake, volunteers deliver it to partner agencies that deliver the birthday surprise to the kids. Coring’s two teenagers have both helped on deliveries.

“I think it’s really special that there’s kids that get a cake and there’s no exchange – they don’t have to see the person that makes the cake for them,” Puckett said. “It’s just someone they’ve never even seen cares so much about them that they took time out of their day to make them feel good.”

Cupcakes made by For Goodness Cakes volunteers. (Courtesy of Brittany Puckett)

Sandoval County resident Coring would like For Goodness Cakes to expand throughout New Mexico.

“We would love to bake more cakes,” Coring said.

Parillo was connected with the organization during the pandemic, which was when she first started baking. Puckett reached out to her and Parillo was instantly interested. “I was signed up within 15 minutes,” Parillo said.

Parillo also organized their last pop-up market at Salt Yard East. It featured more than 30 vendors and live music, and raised over $2,000 for the chapter.

Besides organizing the pop-up events, Parillo has baked six cakes for the Albuquerque branch.

Her favorite bake was a rose gold cake for a girl turning 18. For Goodness Cakes makes cakes for kids who have aged out of the foster system, as well as graduation and holiday bakes.

“Some people take stuff for granted,” Parillo said. “They don’t realize that there are kids out there that don’t have birthday cakes. It’s something, it’s so simple, but it could make a kid’s year.”

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