An underlying premise of the uencounter.me pin map platform is the element of serendipitous discovery (accidentally finding something you weren’t necessarily looking for). It was complete serendipity that connected us to Icing Smiles when we first announced that we would offer complimentary upgrades to non-profit organizations. It has been exciting to see their maps develop and they have been ever so patient and kind as we worked out some bugs and experimented with a couple of feature processes. It is with great pleasure that we introduce them to our uencounter.me community.
Their motto is to “Bake a Difference.” Straight from their Facebook page: “Icing Smiles is a nonprofit organization that provides custom celebration cakes and other treats to families impacted by the critical illness of a child”. It was born from the passion of founder Tracy Quisenberry who shares a lifelong zeal for supporting the needs of ill children and found herself baking cakes through her own circumstances of serendipity. With a need greater than could be satisfied single handedly, she began enlisting the help of other volunteers. Today, just over two years later, Icing Smiles is supported by over 2,700 volunteer bakers and 30 administrative volunteers. Collectively they have produced and donated over 1200 cakes throughout all 50 states and spurred International divisions of the organization in a number of countries including Australia, Canada, and Holland.
Icing Smiles understands that for families working with the challenges of caring for a critically ill child, a simple birthday cake becomes a luxury. Most of the cakes are anything but ‘simple’ and often exceed the fantasies of children and parents alike. Cakes and treats do not have to be for the child battling an illness but may be for a sibling whose life often takes a back seat in the caring chaos. Additionally, volunteer bakers contribute significantly to the greater good by providing cakes and goodies for fundraising events and to temporary residential facilities such as the Ronald McDonald houses.
Just a single browse through the photos on the Icing Smiles website or their Facebook page fills one’s heart with ‘Ahhh …’ moments as you observe expressions of joy captured on the faces of children in spite of difficult times. As is the case with many volunteers of any charitable work, the experience is a pleasure and often a humbling experience.
Families are asked to provide a theme for the cake and the baker takes creativity from there. Cakes can either be a ‘dream’ cake or a ‘fun’ cake and obviously, the ‘dream’ cakes are downright masterpieces! Cakes don’t necessarily have to be focused on birthdays either. In many cases, a celebration can be for a medical milestone or a coming home party.
Currently, Icing Smiles has two maps at uencounter.me. One depicts State Sponsors – a vital element in keeping any charitable organization alive and their licensed baker map – the professionals who answer a ‘call to action’ and provide sweet treats in their service area. On both maps, the pin data contains the important contact information for the business / organization represented. This is one of the ways that Icing Smiles gives back to its volunteers. We at uencounter.me are pleased to offer a platform allowing nonprofits such as Icing Smiles a venue to geographically illustrate the scope of their efforts. In addition, the map allows public supporters the ability to easily discover local establishments that give back to their communities.
Welcome to UE Icing Smiles!! We are thrilled to have you mapping here!
To Donate to Icing Smiles, please visit their PayPal link – all contributions are Tax Deductible and you may find their Tax ID number on their Facebook page in the ‘about’ section.
**Images shared from the Facebook pages of Icing Smiles