With trays of exotic flavors like raspberry and root beer float, there is no doubt senior Jordan Perkin’s cupcakes are the best around. However, these cupcakes aren’t for pure enjoyment.
After traveling to Kenya last summer to do missionary work, Perkins started a business, Cupcakes for Kenya, in order to raise money for her trip back next summer. “I went to Kenya last summer, and I was very impacted by what I saw,” Perkins said.
Jordan is selling cupcakes for $2 each. Every dollar makes a difference and brings her one step closer to helping the needy in Africa again. Perkins has so far sold dozens and hopes to meet her goal of 2,000 cupcakes by next summer.
“Since the school won’t let me sell the cupcakes, my best option is to cater for businesses since they typically buy more than a single person would,” Perkins said.
Meeting her goal would allow her to afford the trip next year so she can continue to help those in need.
“We did some home building, and did a lot of work with the women, children, and orphans,” Perkins said. “Even though it costs $4,000 to get over there, a lot of it goes towards the people. The only thing included in that price is the plane ticket.”
Jordan went with Bayside Church and worked through an organization called HEART Ministries. While there, Perkins built two houses and used the rest of the money to buy food for the people.
“What really impressed me was the way that the women and children were so happy even in the worst of situations,” Perkins said. “There was joy that we don’t experience here. And even though they have AIDS, and they’re poor, and can’t afford to feed themselves or their kids, they are just so happy and excited to see us come.”
While in Kenya, Perkins also visited the Kibera slum outside Nairobi, the second largest slum in Africa. Most people in this area live in shaky, tin shacks.
“The best or most rewarding part of my trip was seeing the impact we could make with what didn’t seem like a lot,” Perkins said. “When we go into these centers with a little bit of food or materials, we don’t feel like we’re bringing a lot, but the organization would tell us, ‘You’re bringing them hope.’”
Jordan explained that AIDS is such a stigma in Africa, and especially in Kenya, that families will disown relatives and beat the victim, sometimes to death, if they are found to have the disease.
All this seems far removed from the suburban Carmichael home where Jordan lives with her parents and younger brother and bakes cupcakes.
“I make a variety of flavors including red velvet, chocolate, root beer float, raspberry, as well as seasonal flavors such as pumpkin around Halloween and eggnog around Christmas,” said Perkins.
Even as her business grows, Jordan maintains sight of her ultimate goal to get back to Africa and help more people.
“The fact that we are even coming to these women and showing them that we care really means something to them,” said Perkins.