Updated: Sep 12, 2019
Sweet Blessings cakes brings joy and creativity for anyone who volunteers there. Located at the corner of East Maxwell and Martin Luther King Boulevard, Sweet Blessings is the perfect distance from campus. Students can walk over and volunteer every Tuesday from 9 a.m. ‘till 9 p.m. Not only are you working to help give back, but you are also having fun doing it.
At Sweet Blessings, cakes are made every Tuesday to give to children in the community who do not have the resources to make or buy their own. Children are able to choose what kind of cake design they want, and Sweet Blessings will make it possible.
Sweet Blessings started in 2011 when founder Ashley Gann noticed that many children in poverty were not receiving a cake on their birthday. With three production facilities in Lexington, Harrodsburg, and Frankfort, Sweet Blessings has been able to make cakes for more than 11,800 children. Every birthday cake comes wrapped with a bow on top and a special birthday note to the child.
Below is a Q&A with Gann.
Q: How many staff/volunteers are a part of Sweet Blessings?
A: I am the only staff member. We have hundreds of volunteers across our three production locations, delivery drivers, board members and others. On any Tuesday during the school year, we may have five dozen volunteers come and go in the Lexington location alone.
Q: What are some events coming up that students can take part in?
A: On May 5, 2019, we will hold The Great Cake Race 5K/1M. This is our largest fundraiser of the year. Last year we had 800 registered participants. Each year we celebrate the anniversary of our first cake by making cakes for as many qualifying children as possible in one day. Last year we made cakes for more than 150 children that day. People may register... and get more information on our website, www.sweetblessingscakes.org.
Q: On average, how many cakes go out every Tuesday?
A: Our volume changes a great deal. Last year we made cakes for close to 2,600 children. We are very comfortable making cakes for 50+ children every Tuesday. The most cakes we have ever made on a regular Tuesday is 72.
Q: What inspired you to start Sweet Blessings?
A: Wow! That is a very long story. Here is the much-abbreviated version. I have a master’s degree in public health and had a successful career in that field. God put cakes in my life, and my husband and I knew it was for a reason. It took several years, including a move back to Kentucky — I am from Frankfort — and a brief time in culinary school. I felt God telling me to “spend more time making a difference and less time making a living.” I didn’t know what that meant. However, when one day the pastor was talking about inner-city outreach in downtown Lexington, and I knew I was being called to use cake to reach children and families. I never really decided to start Sweet Blessings. I just woke up each morning and took the next step as God guided me. Our first cake was Feb 26, 2011.
Story Written by Rachael Courtney
Photo By Sydney Carter