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A Gift of Self

Icing Smiles: Bake a difference!

Icing Smiles: Bake a difference!

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July 16, 2014
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This series profiles area organizations that help meet needs in our communities.

Organization: Icing Smiles

What it does: This nonprofit organization provides custom celebration cakes and other treats to families impacted by the critical illness of a child.

“We understand that the simple things, like a birthday cake, are luxuries to a family battling illness. Our goal is to create a custom cake for the ill child, or their sibling, that provides a temporary escape from worry and creates a positive memory during a difficult time,” said Icing Smiles founder Tracy Quisenberry.

The organization serves all 50 states with a base of more than 5,500 volunteer bakers across the country. There are no fees to recipients.

Volunteers -- bakers and administrative volunteers -- are able to see their impact immediately.

Each cake served is posted on the group’s Facebook page, and many of the families’ stories are shared on the Icing Smiles blog.

Background: According to its website,, the organization delivered its first cake on Jan. 27, 2010, to Violet, a 6-year-old battling brain cancer. We had one “Sugar Angel” volunteer and long-term dreams that one day we would be able to extend our reach to serve any deserving child worldwide.

In addition to cakes for ill children or their siblings, Icing Smiles provides treats for families staying in Ronald McDonald houses for access to services for their sick children, and for medical families to brighten their days. More than 75 requests for cakes are received each week.

Donna Rupinski of The Cake and Cookie Connection in Floresville helped deliver smiles to the family of Olivia, who was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and tricuspid valve regurgitation, to celebrate Olivia’s first birthday this past March.

How you can help: Monetary donations are welcome. Professional and nonprofessional bakers -- depending on the laws of the individual states -- also are needed, as are volunteers to collect and deliver the baked goods. Corporate sponsorship also is welcome.

Medical professionals are invited to share the story of Icing Smiles with deserving families. Anyone can share the Icing Smiles story via social media, by hosting a fund-raiser, or telling families in need about the service.

Events, fund-raisers: Proceeds from the sale of several products benefit Icing Smiles, and can be found on the organization’s website, along with suggestions for fund-raising efforts.

The group also hosts an annual gala in February in its home city of Baltimore, Md.

Contact: Tracy Quisenberry, 443-420-7096 or; or visit

Your organization can be featured here by completing the form, available at by clicking on services and choosing “Gift of Self,” or by emailing, including “Gift of Self” in the subject line.
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