Addie Francis, founder of Peace of Cake Ministry, liked watching the cast of Cake Boss decorate cakes. She thought it was something she would like to do with her friends.
“I thought about the people who didn’t have cake,” Addie said. “I thought it would be better they had cake than people who get it every day.”
Addie is a 14-year-old Olentangy Liberty Middle School student who took her idea of baking cakes for less fortunate people to her mother, Beth Francis.
“Addie wanted to start something,” her mom said. “We called Common Ground, they said the person who made their birthday cakes just moved to Texas. We picked it up from there.”
Common Ground Free Store Ministry is a charitable partnership between the businesses, civic organizations, churches and citizens of Delaware located at 193 E. Central Ave.
“We deliver two cakes a week,” Francis said. “Kids 16 and under get a birthday cake.”
Addie said starting out she and her friend Avery Druehl made three cakes a month.
Avery said the two were friends on the same gymnastics team and decorating cakes sounded like a lot of fun.
“It’s really fun I like how the group has grown with a ton of girls,” Avery said. “It’s way easier to make a ton of cakes for a lot more kids.”
As word of the ministry spread others became interested in joining to where there are now 10 girls ranging in age from 10 to 14.
“The church picked it up as a mission and now covers our cost,” Francis said. “They give us a $500 budget every year and it buys all of our supplies.”
The group meets once a month at the Gateway Community Church in Powell to decorate 10 birthday cakes, five each for boys and girls.
Addie said a volunteer from Common Ground told her a story about a little girl who received one of the cakes.
“It was the little girl’s birthday,” Addie said. “The woman asked why she was sad. The little girl told the woman she has never had a birthday cake.”
“The woman then pulls out one of our cakes we made and she gave it to her,” Addie said. “She said she had the biggest smile on her face.”
Addie said she has never seen anyone receive a cake because the cakes are donated anonymously.
“All I do is make the cakes and deliver them,” Addie said. “I see like a lot of people lined up sometimes.”
Lending a hand in the background, Debbie Starkey bakes the cakes for the girls to decorate. She said it usually takes a couple of hours because the cakes are small and she can bake three at a time in her oven at home.
Starkey was once a cake decorator and has been coaching the group.
“I think this is a wonderful ministry that these children have,” Starkey said. “These young ladies devote a lot of time to this and I know they have busy schedules. They always have a smile on their face and eager to learn. I’m so glad to contribute.”
Starkey said she doesn’t remember a time in her life she didn’t have a cake on her birthday.
“It breaks my heart that there are children that do not get them on their birthday,” she said.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.