Volunteer baking group aims to help veterans feel special

“It’s not just a cake, It’s not just a tasty treat. It’s really love.”
Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 3:27 PM MST
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BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — While a birthday cake may sound insignificant to some, perhaps a token many take for granted, one non-profit aims to make sure residents at the Idaho State Veterans Home in Boise are not forgotten.

“It’s not just a cake, It’s not just a tasty treat. It’s really love,” said Community Cakes Vice President Alice Mickelson.

With Community Cakes, volunteer bakers give the gift of a homemade birthday cake to community members who otherwise would not receive one. The Idaho State Veterans Home was one of Community Cakes’ first partners roughly a decade ago.

“We knew that many of our veterans went without a birthday cake or the veterans home needed support to help support our veterans on their birthdays,” Mickelson said.

She added working with the Idaho State Veterans Home was an endeavor that hits close to home.

“The original creators of Community Cakes, which is myself and our President Kathy Plaisance, all have veterans in our family and we really feel honored to be able to take care of the veterans in our community,” Mickelson said.

These cakes are not your average store-bought, generic treat. Rather, volunteer bakers take the time to learn the veteran’s favorite flavor and interests. That feedback is incorporated into the design to offer a unique and personalized touch.

“Whenever they bring those cakes, it’s such a special moment for these veterans because they are all detailed for that particular person,” said Idaho State Veterans Home Activity Coordinator April Floyd. “Then they get to the opportunity to share it with their roommates and the rest of the people they live with.”

Among the personalized cakes that have been created for veterans are cakes with their favorite cars, a hunting-themed cake, and even one made for a recipient who requested the cake incorporate his favorite dog.

“Our baker made a little cake with a chihuahua on it and it had a little sombrero hat,” said Mickelson. “The gentleman carried the hat with him on his walker and when he passed away, he actually asked for it to be with him in his casket.”

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