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planned giving & trust se r vices Cupcakes for Communities O ne day in late 2013, in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, Charissa Hawes walked into her classroom at Alberta’s mission school with a mission of her own in mind. She wanted to inspire her Grade 2 students at Mamawi Atosketan Native School (MANS) to fundraise for the victims of the disaster. She did not anticipate the swell of support and tide of inspiration that followed. Hawes herself was inspired to help because the devastation in the Philippines hit home for her, as her father-in-law had worked there for years helping communities to become self-sufficient— communities that were now reduced to rubble. As Hawes explains, she grasped this chance to teach her students that “being a good citizen is being aware of your local as well as global community” and that being part of these communities means giving as well as receiving. To bring the reality of what had happened in the Philippines home for her students, Hawes showed videos of the news broadcasts, and afterwards they talked about how life had changed for the victims and how they might be feeling. Hawes explains that although “such a disaster is hard to understand” for seven-year-olds, and the idea of “losing everyone and everything was incomprehensible,” her students knew that these people would be “sad and scared” and that they (the students) wanted to help. They went on to discuss how it is sometimes better to send money than supplies. Hawes’s class had helped raise money for ADRA relief efforts before, and because the Canadian government was matching funds raised for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, Hawes knew that “every dollar would count twice as much.” 1 With this, the idea of having a bake sale to raise money—to sell cupcakes and cookies to help communities a world away—was born. A tidal wave of effort was set in motion as the kids made and hung posters, helped bake hundreds of cookies and cupcakes, and then sold these goodies over three days. The sale raised over $400 that, when matched by government, generated nearly $1,000 for ADRA. The kids were thrilled when they realized just how many items this money could purchase for the typhoon victims. And then something unexpected happened: the children’s inspiration had a ripple effect. Upon learning of their accom- plishment, an anonymous friend of the school and MANS community matched their donation and then challenged his employer to do the same. Under a federal charity matching program 2 —a tax-smart method for individuals and employers to ramp up monetary donations for worthy causes—the total gift generated by the school reached $4,000. The children, Hawes herself, and the MANS community were elated. As MANS principal, Gail Wilton, explains, the experience also echoes a biblical principle that she, Hawes, and the school seek to emphasize continually: “Cast your bread upon the water and it will return to you after many days” (Eccl. 11:1). Through something as simple as a bake sale, Hawes’s students learned a valuable lesson: giving a little can inspire a lot. n Lynn McDowell is director of Planned Giving and Trust Services/Philanthropy at the Alberta Conference; Leah Keys is a staff writer for the Planned Giving and Trust Services department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada. >> To view the actual Return of the Cupcakes celebration at Mamawi Atosketan Native School, go to and scroll to “Typhoon Haiyan and the Return of the Cupcakes.” << 1 Canada’s Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund. 2 Referred to as Matching Gift and Workplace Giving. M Fe b r u a r y 201 5 11