Founder's Story

Libby Gruender

Cake4Kids was founded in September, 2010 in Sunnyvale, CA by Libby Gruender to provide free birthday cakes to foster children and at-risk youth in the San Francisco Bay Area. Libby read an article about a young girl, who was in foster care in the Midwest, receiving her first birthday cake. The girl had just been placed in a new home and upon returning from school, her foster mother presented her with a chocolate birthday cake. The young girl burst into tears and immediately ran upstairs. Concerned that she had done something wrong, the mother made her way upstairs, knocked on the door, and asked to enter. She told the girl that she was very sorry that she had upset her and that her intention was to make her happy. "If you don't like chocolate, I can bake you a different kind of cake.” "It's not that,” the girl replied, "I've just never had a birthday cake.” Well that was it — Libby was resolved to make sure the children in her community had birthday cakes to celebrate.

What Libby started in 2010 as a grassroots efforts with a few volunteers baking 13 cakes for a few agencies, has turned into quite a robust operation with hundreds of volunteers currently baking over 3,000 cakes per year for over 140 agencies!

Sadly, Libby passed away in 2013, and we miss her passion, persuasion, and creativity. But we are not only keeping her mission going — every year we recruit new volunteers, partner with more agencies, and provide more and more children with birthday cakes for their special day.