Amelia Cook, 13, of Pascagoula, Mississippi, a seventh-grader at Resurrection Catholic Middle/High School, raises money for a wide array of causes by baking cakes and cookies and selling them through a Facebook page. “I have always had a desire to help others,” said Amelia. Her earliest efforts involved a series of lemonade stands that raised funds for, among many other things, an international humanitarian agency that provides food, schooling and basic necessities for children in other countries. As a result of her efforts, Amelia learned of an orphaned boy who needed extensive cleft palate surgery. “When I saw the picture of little Liang, I was overcome with sadness and knew I needed to do something,” she said.
Having a passion for baking, Amelia started making cakes and cookies, advertised them on Facebook and received an “overwhelming” response from her community. It wasn’t long before she exceeded the amount needed for Liang’s surgery. Now, each week, she makes supply and grocery lists, collects cake and cookie orders, does her baking, schedules deliveries and pickups, and logs all expenses and revenues. With her proceeds, she has been able to pay for part of a child’s heart surgery, another child’s school tuition, a year’s supply of school supplies for three students and shoes for 10 children in need. In addition, Amelia’s baking business has purchased a sewing machine for a single mother, barnyard animals for a family’s livelihood, and gardening equipment and supplies for another family. She also helped pay to fix termite damage in her school’s library.