This Teacher Bakes a Cake For Each of Her Students' Birthdays + For Many It's The Only Gift They Get

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Laurie States is a math instructor at the Omaha Street School in Omaha, Nebraska—and her story really takes the cake. 

"Omaha Street School is an alternative education school, so the first year I was teaching at the Street School, I had a student who told me they weren't going to come to school the next day because it was their birthday," Laurie says. "And I said, 'Well what if I make you a cake—would you come to school?' And he said, 'Sure, can you make me a marble cake?' And I said I would."

"It was the first cake anyone had ever made for him, and on Monday morning when he came to school, I asked how he liked his cake and he said he really enjoyed it," Laurie continues. "And I said, 'Well what else did you get for your birthday?' And he said, 'Well I got your cake…All I got was your cake.'"

"I didn't realize that the cake was going to be the only gift that the student would receive that year," Laurie says. "And then I realized, it was like that for a lot of my students."

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Ever since then, at the beginning of the school year, Laurie gives each student a notecard to write down their birthday and their cake request. The students can request anything that they want, she says. As long as there's a recipe and Laurie can find it, she'll attempt it. She's made strawberry cheesecake, pineapple upside-down cake, mango-chili lime cake, tres leches cake with fresh strawberries and even a Baked Alaska. "You name it, they've asked me for it," she says.

While some people have donated cake stands, cake boxes or cake rounds, for the most part Laurie puts in her own money for the cakes. "I believe my cakes make the students feel special. They really look forward to it. I try to make each one unique and each one specific to them," Laurie says. "When the students receive the cake, I want them to feel that they're important. I just want them to know how much they're loved, how much they're valued and how much they mean to me and the school."

"You are our kind of hero," Rach tells Laurie. "But not just us!" 

Rach got to share the news that our friends at Supernatural, a company that makes soy-free sprinkles and other allergy-friendly, plant-based baking ingredients, are donating $2,500 to fund Laurie's cakes. How sweet is that?! 

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