Friday, August 1, 2008

You Make a Difference

Hello and thank you for your continued support of Cakes for Cause. You, as volunteers, customers, friends, and new friends have been instrumental in getting us to where we are after only 7 short months. However, we have a long way to go though and so this week our email is an appeal for your support.

The Mission of Cakes for Cause is to provide real work experience and skills to youth who are being served in public housing or who are in foster care or have aged out of foster care in Maryland. Cakes for Cause will operate a commercial bakery/café, which provides jobs and training to these youth and empowers them to pursue a career in the hospitality and restaurant industry.

Clearly you have gotten to know us and the quality of our products and the professionalism of our volunteers at the Frederick Farmer's Market in the past couple of months. Many of you have contracted with us for private events and it is our retail sales that make us unique as a non-profit organization. But commercial revenue is only a part of our overall revenue each year. We have been generously funded for half of our $500,000 budget for the first year by the Housing Authority and the City of Frederick. The remainder of our operating funds...the funds necessary to support our curriculum and our students in raised through retail sales, foundation grants, state and federal funds, fees for service and individual and corporate donations.

Our volunteers are working hard to implement a curriculum that will ensure our ability to provide services to the youth in our program for many years beyond our first year. Our planned outcomes for these youth are simple but significant:
  • Increased ability to earn wages and income: 60% of Cakes for Cause participants will experience hourly wage and earning increases.
  • Increased ability to access and retain employment: 50% of our participants will experience higher rates of employment after 8 months of experience in the Cakes for Cause program; 75% of participants will experience an increase in hours worked per week. Our curriculum includes a significant portion of time devoted to areas such as interview appearance and strategies, development of "soft" skills (time management, teamwork, and self-motivation), and conflict resolution in a workplace setting.
  • Improvement in "quality of life" areas: 25% of Cakes for Cause apprentices will experience improvements in access to employer-provided benefits programs; 25% of participants will experience higher ownership rates for assets such as automobiles and access to better standards of living, including ability to pay more for rent or to obtain housing; and 60% of participants will report higher job satisfaction than they previously experienced.
Your financial support helps us realize these goals. Please take this opportunity to make a tax-deductible contribution to Cakes for Cause. It's as easy as clicking here to donate online where you will be directed to our fund at the Community Foundation of Frederick (write "The Cakes for Cause Fund" on the memo/notes line) or you may mail a contribution directly to us at P.O. Box 3452, Frederick Maryland, 21705. Thank you.

If you've enjoyed our food, we're at the Frederick Farmer's Market on Saturdays every week (10:00 am to 1:00 pm, off Route 40 at Baughman's Lane, behind the Holiday Inn). We accept pre-orders and special orders for all of our baked goods at the market but if you can't make it, email us and let us know how we can make your event special. All of the proceeds from our retail sales go back into the non-profit organization.

Thank you so much for all your support.


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