Heartwarming: For Every Cupcake This 13-Year-Old Baker Sells, He Donates One to a Person in Need

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Have you ever noticed how accepted “wisdom” doesn’t always line up with the way the world actually works? For example, many assume that homeschooled kids will end up maladjusted.

Others say that there’s no way private enterprise can help the down and out. Well, a 13-year-old boy from Bowie, Maryland, is proving people wrong on both accounts.

Michael Platt has always enjoyed desserts, according to the New York Post. In fact, he began making his own cupcakes at the tender age of 9.

But his desire to bake didn’t start out of a simple love of sweets. While in the sixth grade, he was diagnosed with epilepsy.

His condition made it so difficult for him to function in a classroom that his mother, Danita Platt, began homeschooling him.

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Michael also discovered that he had to abandon all of the rough-and-tumble stuff in which boys typically delight.

“He had to stop everything he loved: gymnastics, climbing trees, diving,” Platt said. “So that’s when he kind of threw himself into baking,”

Michael’s love of crafting cupcakes and other delectable desserts quickly flourished. He appeared on the Food Network’s “Kids Baking Championship.”

He also founded his own successful business called Michaels Desserts, and that’s where things start to get interesting. See, Michael is philanthropically minded, so much so that he purposefully omitted the apostrophe in his business’ name as a reminder to not focus on himself.

“I always wanted to have a purpose for what I do,” he told The Washington Post. “It’s all about helping people — not just having a purpose for yourself, but thinking about, ‘How does this touch other things?’”

Though Michaels Desserts initially needed his parents’ backing, it’s now self-sufficient. That’s pretty amazing for any child’s first entrepreneurial endeavor, but even more so when you consider Michael’s business model.

Inspired by a gift of Toms shoes that he received one Christmas, he decided that he would give away a cupcake to the needy every time he sold one. But he doesn’t simply give a donation in kind.

Instead, he visits domestic-violence shelters and similar charitable endeavors twice a month. Understand that he also sells about 75 cupcakes per month on Facebook.

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He typically prices them at $15 for four. That means that he needs to double that amount in order to meet his humanitarian goals.

Michael isn’t just making plain, old buttercream-frosted cupcakes either. His Instagram page details creations such as lemon cake with passion-fruit curd and chocolate cupcakes with cinnamon whipped icing, chocolate ganache and a homemade churro for a topper.

When people questioned the good that giving away cupcakes can do, Michael replied in a post, “A cupcake can do a lot! I’ve seen a cupcake inspire smiles, tears, amazement, joy, satisfaction, happiness and other private emotions that I won’t share out of respect for people’s dignity.”

He added, “I’ve been told that my business model isn’t sustainable and that I can’t scale my business while giving away a dessert equal in value, ingredients and labor to the ones I sell. I just look at those people and think about the next cupcake I’m going to give away!”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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