Cupcakes and charity in Eugene, Oregon

Featuring my cousin Lily Bussel! Her cupcake club is such a great example of taking cupcakes to a new level and spreading the cupcake love along with helping other people. Congratulations!

From The Register-Guard:

Eugene’s bakers are an especially generous lot. One young woman, University of Oregon Clark Honors College freshman Lily Bussel, created a way to turn her love for cupcakes into charitable giving. Bussel, inspired by a cousin’s cupcake blog and her own volunteer work at soup kitchens, founded the Cupcake Club at Sheldon High School during her junior year.

The club bakes cupcakes each week and sells them after school to students and teachers, then donates net profits to local charities. Donations have gone to organizations including FOOD for Lane County, Greenhill Humane Society, Birth To Three, CASA of Lane County, Womenspace, Sheltercare, Cascades Raptor Center, Relief Nursery and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

Club members have the opportunity to learn about the work done by that month’s chosen nonprofit group in presentations or visits to the organization.

It took five months of hard work and negotiating bureaucratic obstacles to start the club, but in the first two years it made more than $1,000, with all net proceeds going to charities.

“I wanted to keep our donations to local nonprofit organizations,” Bussel says. “It is important to donate to international charities, too, but I like being able to directly see the results of my efforts, and also have the chance to create a connection between my school and the community.”

Ivy Simpson, a junior at Sheldon and one of three co-presidents of the Cupcake Club this year, says she loves seeing the impact the club makes even more than she likes making her specialty, brown sugar pound cake cupcakes with brown sugar frosting.

“It’s great to see how thankful people are to receive the donations,” she says. “Even one small group selling cupcakes can make a difference.”

While the club usually emphasizes helping local organizations, it has decided to earmark donations in February and March for Red Cross Haiti earthquake relief efforts.

Bussel and Simpson are not the only cupcake philanthropists in town.

Emily Downing-Moore owns The Divine Cupcake with her husband, Thaddeus Moore. Operating since 2007, the cupcake wholesale and catering business recently expanded into a cafe that opened across from Ring of Fire restaurant on West 11th Avenue. The new cupcake café features new cupcake flavors, additional baked offerings and a specialty tea menu.

Downing-Moore, a certified nurse midwife when she’s not baking cupcakes, donates a portion of her proceeds to a mix of local and national nonprofit organizations, with many involving health care and food security.


Kim @ said…
How awesome! One of the reasons we want to Eugene (currently live in Delaware!) good people!... we are headed there next year, I'll have to look her up!

Kim @