• Feb. 14, 2024

    USCHS junior establishes local chapter of Cake4Kids

    Ishaan SharmaAn Upper St. Clair High School junior is on a mission to spread joy one birthday cake at a time. Ishaan Sharma, along with his mom (Priyanka Sharma), is establishing a Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of Cake4Kids.

    “Our mission is to provide birthday cakes to at-risk/underserved youth because we believe everyone, regardless of socio-economic status, deserves such a seemingly simple joy,” Ishaan said. “We have already connected with and signed on a few agencies to work with, and are now in the volunteer recruitment process.”

    To date, Cake4Kids has partnered with Beverly’s Birthdays, the Bair Foundation and the South Hills Interfaith Movement.

    Cake4Kids, founded in 2010, is a national nonprofit with 29 chapters in 17 states that has delivered more than 60,000 cakes to children. The Greater Pittsburgh Chapter is Pennsylvania’s first.

    “I learned about Cake4Kids through a family friend. After researching the organization a bit more, I saw that they were accepting new chapter applications, so my mom and I submitted one,” Ishaan said. “It's an untapped niche that affects far more people in our area than you could imagine.”

    Combining his love of baking and his desire to make a positive impact on the lives of area children, Cake4Kids was a natural fit for Ishaan.

    Cake4Kids“I've loved to bake for several years, and I wanted to see if I could productively extend my passion,” he said. “I've been blessed to grow up in the situation that I have, and not everyone is so lucky. Something that most of us take for granted, the joy of just celebrating your birthday, is not as common as I want it to be. I wanted to change that, and I did it in the best way I knew how – cakes”.

    Ishaan and Mrs. Sharma are currently recruiting volunteer bakers. Volunteers should be age 16 or older with moderate baking experience.

    “People who can ice cakes (nothing fancy needed) are preferred, but if you are good at simple cookies/brownies, we can work with that,” he said. “They will have access to a portal where agencies submit requests, and bakers then take up the request, bake, and deliver to the agency.”

    Volunteers donate all the ingredients and supplies to bake cakes in their own homes and then deliver them to the partner agencies.

    The Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of Cake4Kids' first volunteer orientation will take place on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, at the Bridgeville Public Library. For more information, email Ishaan at sharmai@uscstudents.org or visit the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of Cake4Kids online.

    In addition to baking, Ishaan takes an active leadership role in several activities at Upper St. Clair High School. He serves as treasurer of the USC Robotics Club, extemporaneous captain within the Speech & Debate team and treasurer of the Technology Student Association.