Teens Bake Cakes to Renovate an African Hospital

The following is a guest post written by Alison Geist of Demoss.
For Gabe (age 15) and Livvy (age 11) Feinn, baking and decorating cakes isn’t about providing dessert; it’s about protecting lives. The two Louisville natives decided to raise $35,000 to renovate a mission hospital in Africa through international relief organization Samaritan’s Purse. In less than a year, the kids had met their goal through donations earned by baking more than 200 cakes and 2,000 cupcakes. Next month, they will be traveling to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to see the maternity ward that was renovated at a hospital in Nyankunde as a result of their efforts.
It all started in October 2013 when the kids noticed a Samaritan’s Purse gift catalog in the mail.  Flipping through it, they learned that for $14 they could buy two chickens to provide eggs and income for a family in poverty.  Gabe had taken a cake decorating class, so he and his sister decided that they would bake cupcakes for their family garage sale to raise the money for the chickens.  When they quickly made more than enough money for the chickens, Gabe told his mom, “We want to do something that takes a lot of faith.”  Looking at the catalog, he and Livvy decided they wanted to raise $35,000 to renovate a hospital and that they would use their cake-making skills to solicit donations toward their goal.
Gabe, known as “Gabe the Cake Man,” with Livvy, challenged others to embrace the idea that anyone can make a difference. The kids posted about their project goal online and started speaking at local churches, schools and groups, including the Muhammad Ali Center’s Humanitarian Awards banquet last October, where an anonymous attendee, inspired by their story, donated the remaining $12,000 they needed to meet their goal.
Over the last several months, Samaritan’s Purse has been working on the renovations to the maternity ward, which include: constructing a new roof; replacing the ceiling; putting in new concrete and tile floors; installing a solar power back-up system; and adding an operating room for c-setcions, two private rooms, and two additional sinks.  Now that the renovations funded by Gabe and Livvy’s donation are finished, they are headed to the DRC to see the completed project.