The Baked Cupcake
Buy something baked, eat something baked and support a great cause!
Here is how I began and why :)
I started baking cupcakes in 2012. I worked at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center as a laboratory technician and found similarities between baking and running lab experiments. Both included following a "recipe" which resulted in some kind of outcome and I loved it.
I continued to bake over the years because it was something I could work on and become better at. I enjoy the process and end results but most of all, I enjoy seeing how happy people are when they see and eat the cupcakes I've made.
Although I never officially started a baking business, I baked for family and friend's weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, parties and just because. I liked baking and people liked me baking so I kept at it.
Having a full time career, I bake on my weekends and deliver cupcakes (and occasionally cakes and cookies) to those that request them from me.
Recently, I began to think of ways I can give back with baking.
Being a bird enthusiast and interested in incredible stories, I read a book called Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey by Kathleen Rooney. Full disclosure, I am terrible at book recaps and....spoiler alert ahead (in case you are wanting to read the book...I'd read it anyway though).
The book is a true story about a homing pigeon named Cher Ami who saved Major Whittlesey and his men of the "Lost Battalion", 308th Infantry, 77th division, during WW1. Cheri Ami flew 25 miles in roughly 30 minutes with a message tied to her leg that saved 194 battalion soldiers.
The most amazing part was that Cher Ami was shot during her flight in the leg and eye and still delivered the message. Seriously, it's an inspiring story and will give you a different perspective on pigeons. (Fun fact: a homing pigeon was sold last year for $1.9 million…)
Major Whittlesey and his men owed their lives to Cher Ami and she was deemed a war hero. Major Whittlesey felt a special connection to Cher Ami because without her, he and what was left of his battalion would have died like so many others did.
When the war ended and Major Whittlesey returned to America, his life was not the same. He saw, heard, smelled and lived things most of us are incapable of imagining. Major Whittlesey had a difficult time adjusting to his old life after what he experienced overseas and ultimately, ended up taking his own life.
I remember reading that and feeling sad. Major Whittlesey battled demons I cannot fathom. But I knew he was a decorated war hero and was seen highly in the eyes of the men he lead and his country. However, that was not enough to save his life.
I thought many things after reading that but mainly, I thought back to a section earlier in the book. After Cher Ami died and was preserved, Major Whittlesey asked if he could have her but he was told no (she is now at the Smithsonian and I will go see her one day!).
This is only my thought based on the book, but I couldn't help but wonder what if they had given Cher Ami to Major Whittlesey? Would his life have ended the same? Maybe, maybe not but I do know that animals, whether birds, dogs, cats horses, etc. can often times heal people.
Although Cher Ami was a taxidermy bird, I think she would have been a reminder for Major Whittlesey to keep fighting...maybe.
Full circle, I began to think of ways I could give back through baking and to some of the men and woman who serve our country and experience unthinkable things during war.
I researched different foundations and asked a few veterans about which foundations they would recommend. I eventually laded on the K9s for Warriors webpage and after reading about their cause, knew this was a great foundation to support.
K9s for Warriors pairs veterans with service dogs in hopes of ending suicide among veterans. Not only do they save veterans, they save dogs as a part of the process as well.
Thinking back to Cheri Ami and what she might have done for Major Whittlesey, I decided to donate 100% of my baking profits to the K9s for Warriors foundation. It might not be much, but it is something I can do now that will maybe help make a difference in a veterans life.
In the future, I hope you consider something baked from me and help support my goal to donate $1,000 to the foundation by December 2021.
Follow the.baked.cupcake on Instagram (click icon below) to see what I make and support the cause. I will post everything I make and the people who help me with my goal! Thank you for reading.