A 13-year-old entrepreneur from Maryland is using his love for baking as an avenue to pay it forward and fight hunger amongst the homeless. According to People Michael Platt—who owns the bakery Michael’s Desserts—donates one of his treats to a homeless person for each dessert that is sold at his store.
The pre-teen has been passionate about merging his passion for the culinary industry with activism. Cognizant of the issues faced by individuals from underserved communities, he wanted to utilize his baking skills as a way to uplift the homeless population. Every month he makes over 100 treats and delivers them to shelters in the Washington, D.C. area. Building a business has been far from easy for the youngster. He was diagnosed with epilepsy after suffering several seizures. Due to his ailment, he had to be homeschooled and couldn’t participate in sports which is what led him to baking. Platt didn’t let his health issues hold him back from pursuing his dream.
In the midst of everything, he was focused on using his home-made desserts as a way to make an impact. “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 wrote in an Instagram post. “I’ve passed a cupcake to someone sitting with all their possessions in a shopping cart and had them tell me that this one simple act gave them hope. I’ve left a cupcake beside someone who’s sleeping under blankets on a grate because their friend on the grate next to them said it was ok when I asked. That’s why I give away cupcakes.”
Platt has partnered with No Kid Hungry—a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to addressing child hunger in America—to further his mission. Aside from his work with the homeless, he’s also using his desserts to highlight Black pioneers. He’s named some of his cupcakes after influential leaders including Maya Angelou, Nelson Mandela, Harriet Tubman, and Martin Luther King Jr.