Juniors start up a sweet charity

Mehul Shrivastava, Staff Writer

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As a part of graduation requirements, students are recommended to have at least forty hours of completed community service. This may include helping out at shelters, organizations or raising money for causes and charities. However, some students chose to go above and beyond to create something new and leave a lasting impact.

To raise money for charity, juniors Olivia Overington, Lauren Flynn and Dorothy Goodwin began making cupcakes and selling them to form an organization called “Peace Love Cupcakes”. It started with the three of them selling cupcakes in stands in their neighborhood. Eventually it turned into an official non-profit supporter of the African Well Fund, an organization that builds and maintains wells in African areas that don’t receive enough water.

Initially, Peace Love Cupcakes was started to raise money that was donated to small charities in the community. Now, five years later, they are working towards raising at least $15,000 that will cover the cost of building and sustaining a well in Africa and will help approximately 1,000 people. They are about $2,000 away from reaching their goal.

“There were so many causes out there, and it was just one we decided to do, […] it was just the one that we had in mind, there wasn’t really rhyme or reason, but we just thought it was very important,” said Flynn.

The idea originally came to them when Goodwin was looking around charities and found the African Well Fund. They thought it was a simple and effective idea that people usually tend to overlook.

“People don’t get the opportunities that [we] have, even if they’re just as worthy of getting these opportunities, so if you can help someone else, you should do so, as much as you can,” said Goodwin.

Peace Love Cupcakes raises its money by selling cupcakes at local events. While they started out with individual stands, the organization is now a part of many major town events. Recently, they have made an appearance at well-known events like the Westford Strawberry Festival and the WA Holiday Bazaar. Money is also donated online and by corporate sponsors.

Overington, Flynn and Goodwin have been friends for a long time and Peace Love Cupcakes has helped them maintain their friendship.

“It’s helped all three of us stay friends, since we’ve been a little trio since fourth grade [through] high school,” said Flynn.

Through all the events they’ve been through, Peace Love Cupcakes has also allowed them to get to know some other people, as well as help them learn to reach out and have a conversation without being nervous.

“We’ve met a ton of awesome people […] who are all such wonderful people and they’ve helped us out, and it’s just been a good experience.” said Goodwin.

Peace Love Cupcakes has shown the three juniors that community service is important and has really impacted them as well as the people they are helping. In fact, they even have some advice for students.

“Get involved with community service. It’s really fulfilling, and it’s not just like ‘yeah get your forty hours and graduate’… it’s really important for us to  understand the impact that we can all have.” said Overington.

All in all, the organization has taught the girls how to be committed and make a difference in the community around them.

“It’s really worth it to follow things through and it can end up very, very differently than you thought it would.” said Overington.