Hi. I’m Hannah, organizer of Cupcake Camp OC.
I had never fasted for lent before, but I decided to try it this year. For 40 days I decided to give up SWEETS! If you know me, you know how much I LOVE sweets. So this was no easy task. And to be quite honest I failed a few times during the 40 days and cheated here and there. But even with sneaking in a bite here and there, I was almost to the point of depression because I craved sweets so much; I swore I would never fast desserts again. You don’t understand..eating is a huge part of my life and I especially LOVE desserts.
I decided I wanted to celebrate lent being over by breaking fast with a couple of my friends who were also fasting sweets and a handful of other friends. I decided to throw a Desserts Galore Party where everyone had to bring a different type of dessert. My plan was to gorge on all types of sweets possible in order to make up for the 40 days. It was to be a sugar feast.
The Evite was sent out and I was starting to get really excited…
During that time, also, one of my good friends Stephen was in the process of raising funds to go down to Mexico City for a year to assist El Pozo (a sex trafficking rehabilitation home). I really wanted to support him, but I’ve been unemployed for quite some time. I decided to get creative. I started brainstorming of ways to double this dessert party as a fundraiser. The obvious one was a bake sale, but that wasn’t quite it.
That’s when I serendipitously (love that word) stumbled across the Cupcake Camp Seattle page while browsing through a cupcake wrapper website my sister Michelle sent me (since I enjoy baking). I read about the ad-hoc gatherings of cupcake camps all over the world and I immediately thought ‘Oh my gosh.. this is it! I wanna do this!’
I’ve been searching and trying to figure out my direction in life. Like I said, I’m still unemployed. But when I considered putting together a cupcake camp, it got me super excited because it was a combination of my 3 passions: desserts, hosting events, and my desire to do something meaningful (cause-based).
I wanted to fly up to Seattle and witness the event myself to get a better idea. I needed to observe firsthand. But the event was less than 2 weeks of me discovering the website and tickets were freaking expensive. My excitement started to wear off and discouragement and doubt started setting in. ..
‘Who am I to do something like this? Am I kidding myself?’
‘I’m nobody, I don’t own a company, I have no money.. there’s no way I can do this’.
Well.. my supportive bf Steve surprised me by buying tickets for me to fly to Seattle. There’s so much that happened there (that trip was a great time of reflecting and reminiscing –I’m originally from Seattle). But anyhow to make the long story short Cupcake Camp Seattle was a huge success. They had nearly 1000 people show up, 70 bakers, 5000 cupcakes and were able to raise $5,276.50!
Me and My Cousins at Cupcake Camp Seattle
Intimidated but excited, I came back to Orange County and reached out to select friends. (Funny but I didn’t make the connection until now that 2 of my fellow organizers-Esther and Jenn also happen to be the 2 girls that were fasting sweets with me for lent.) We had our first meeting and they met each other.
Somehow, we came to a lofty goal of 500 people and 3000 cupcakes. We have no network or experience in the cupcake industry as the Seattle company who hosted did so, in our minds, this was a God-sized number. There were definitely skeptics and those who didn’t quite understand our vision and we knew we were crazy for thinking that we could accomplish this, but we went full force at it.
So… 2.5 months later… August 1, Sunday. Cupcake Camp OC at the Atrium Hotel in Irvine.
Who would have ever guessed… (besides God since He planned for it all along) that we– Charles, Eunice, Jenn, Esther, and I –5 “random” friends would be able to pull something like this!
We had nearly 1000 people. 90 bakers. over 5000 cupcakes. and we raised $9100!
This About page is a testament of how something so seemingly insignificant, such as fasting sweets for lent, can potentially lead to $9100 to fight human trafficking. How God gives us the privilege of being used and blesses us when we pursue those God-given passions.
And now I’m not embarrassed to admit that desserts/food/eating are and can be a PASSION!
We each have our own stories from this experience, but I’m glad I got to share mine with you. Thanks for reading!