by Leah Johnson
Six SMU juniors are raising funds to start a cupcake business that prompts serving others and produced a must-watch video in the process.
Daniel Poku remembers the day he felt the calling. After he received his license, he and his brother decided to go for a ride. Poku drove while his brother sat in the passenger seat.
At a stop sign, there stood a homeless man with a scraggly beard who asked Poku for help. Before this day, Poku had never felt it was his duty to help the homeless because he had always been a passenger. But on that day, Poku was in the driver’s seat and that homeless man was asking him for help.
With this eye-opening experience came CauseCakes.
Spearheaded by Poku, CauseCakes has five other members Tyler Scott, Stephen Nelson, Marc Feldman, Paul Curry, and Kyle Spencer. All SMU juniors, the group plans to spread kindness and awareness through their sweet treats.
“There is something about their mission that resonates with me. The world is crying out for it. People want to be uplifted,” CauseCake supporter Kate Soja said.
Causecakes is a cupcake business with a twist. As explained on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WordPress, and Vimeo, the cupcakes inspire others to perform random acts of kindness through messages on the cupcake wrapper.
“I see this as something for adults and kids,” Rosyln Dirden, owner of Something So Senational Bakery in Dallas, said. “Everybody loves cupcakes.”
After purchasing a cupcake, customers will find a message on the wrapper that might say “Pay the bill for the person behind you at Starbucks.” Then, that customer shares their experience via a social media website designated by the CauseCakes team.
“You as a customer get interaction with the random act of kindness. You do it yourself [and] you get to tell your story,” Nelson said.
For the CauseCakes team, CauseCakes is not just a product, but also a movement. Poku says CauseCakes is not about making money or achieving fame, but impacting lives. A popular CauseCakes video shows the CauseCakes team doing a random act of kindness for a homeless man named Jerry.
Jerry stood on the corner of Mockingbird Lane. Poku approached him as he was walking toward a dumpster searching for a meal. In disbelief and confusion, Jerry never took his eyes off Poku as he talked. Poku slowly explained to Jerry that the group wanted to buy him groceries.
Poku called the experience “incredible.”
The CauseCakes team hopes to leave a legacy that demonstrates a passion for service. They hope their cupcake messages encourage others to service through random acts like groceries for Jerry.
“There is no greater feeling in the world than seeing a smile on someone’s face after helping them and hearing them thank you for your kindness,” Spencer said. “I have always loved community service because it is a win-win situation. Both individuals come out happy in the end.”
With donations from friends, family and strangers, the CauseCakes team has raised over $9,000. Once they reach their goal of $12,500, they will package and sell cupcakes at The Original Cupcakery in Uptown. But, for the CauseCakes team, it’s not just about the money.
“CauseCakes is a movement that embrace this bold idea that if you had been thinking of someone else, something great could happen,” Poku said.
CauseCakes’ fundraising ends March 1. To donate or get involved, visit CauseCakes on Facebook.