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To get the full story behind this blog post and to learn more about the Cupcake Girls, download the February 2014 issue of World Next Door Magazine, or click here to read it online!
During our time embedded with Cupcake Girls, we got the chance to travel to Portland to meet the directors and volunteers at their Portland branch. While we were there, we heard their successes and challenges for the month of November and learned firsthand stories of the Cupcake Girls’ mission being carried out in a new city. We also discovered how one church’s creative involvement embraced and forever impacted the life of one woman and her family.
At a strip club visit one night, the Portland meet-up girls sparked a relationship with a dancer who was seven months pregnant. After several visits and meet-ups, they learned the woman had no resources and couldn’t think of a single person she could call for support.
The volunteers rallied around the woman, threw her a baby shower, and worked around the clock to help her find housing when she was kicked out of her home at 8½ months pregnant. The woman went through labor alone, and the Cupcake Girls were the only ones who showed up at the hospital to visit. They were also the only ones present when the Department of Human Services arrived within hours to remove the newborn from the woman’s care.
As word spread through the Cupcake Girls’ volunteer team, calls for prayer went out to their network of churches. In one congregation, a couple volunteered to obtain emergency fostering qualifications to foster the baby as the Cupcake Girls worked with the new mother on requirements for reunification—things like housing and employment and counseling.
Because of the Cupcake Girls’ work, the new mother is now able to visit her son and be a presence in his life as he continues to grow, all in the hopes of eventual reunification. In the meantime, the church has surrounded the fostering family to collectively provide for the baby’s needs through diaper and formula donations.
The Portland girls shared a text they’d received from the woman the day we were there: I know I’m not the easiest person to be around or talk to or like. But you girls always are so kind to me. I don’t know why… but thank you. You’re the only ones who have been here for me and cared and helped me. Don’t stop k?”
The Cupcake Girls, though non-religious, are uncovering this woman’s goodness one meet-up at a time, acting as the gate through which the church is able to care for the woman and her baby. In turn, others in the congregation are beginning the process of becoming foster parents for others in the community.
All of this, the far-reaching result of a little pink cupcake delivered to Portland strip club one night.
About the Author: Brooke Hartman is a year-long journalism fellow with World Next Door. In her other life, she was a clinical social worker, counselor, and disaster mental health graduate from Tulane University in New Orleans. Her favorites are: creative writing, travel, photography, weather patterns, and eating dessert. Any cupcake, any time.