Loaves & Fishes & Cheesecake

I promised her: I would pray. I would contribute my “widow’s mite.” I would spread the word. “Cheesecake and social work!” And here I am. There are only a few more days remaining for Jen’s Kickstarter Campaign to reach its goal. How do I know that your contribution will help bring this single mother’s dream into reality, for her and for her sons? Because my own journey as a survivor through the underworld of intimate abuse and family court trauma taught me that miracles are possible. My own Kickstarter experience with “Free As The Sun” reinforced my belief that our angels are the humans whose belief in us inspires them to offer us some wind under our wings.

With only a few days remaining, your contribution to “Beloved Cheesecakes” will be matched! Click here.

We’ve never met, yet I feel I know her like a sister. Jen is a single mother. She loves her boys more than anything. For their sake, she made the difficult/necessary choice to leave an abusive relationship with their father. That choice led her straight into the revolving door of family court: endless hearings, endless stress, endless expense. Still, Jen refuses to give in to despair. In her own words:

My name is Jen. I’m a recent Social Work graduate from Portland State University. I came out a domestic violence marriage 5 years ago, with this past May 30th being my 11th time in court. In the midst of my survival while raising 3 boys and attending school, I found therapy for myself in the form of baking cheesecakes. I started with gifts for Christmas in December of 2015 and by word of mouth have made over 400 for individuals, businesses, schools, churches, etc.
I had never dreamed of owning my business but life has a funny way of throwing curve balls. I hit this curve ball and have followed through. I am now opening up a storefront cheesecake shop in the heart of downtown Silverton, Oregon.
Making cheesecakes is my therapy. It’s where my mind stops racing. I put my heart into each and every one of them. I have also found that cheesecake is a gatherer of people. People sit, talk, eat, and enjoy. I’ve found the power of cheesecake! 

Jen’s Kickstarter (crowd-sourcing) Campaign “Beloved Cheesecakes,” has raised over $17,000 toward her goal. Somehow, she managed to have a “soft opening” of her shop just last week, despite the fact that it is under construction, that she is not yet funded, that the plumbing hasn’t been repaired! Jen is Kick-ass.

Again, from Jen: “We received a very generous offer from a very generous person who is willing to match dollar for dollar up to $7000.00!!! 😱 Seriously! If another $7000 is pledged by Wednesday July 10th, this generous person will donate the last $7000 to reach the goal!! Since we have 100 backers now (woo-hoo!!), we calculated that if each one of you either increased your pledge by $70 or asked someone you know to pledge $70, this will actually happen!”

“Beloved Cheesecakes” has until July 11, 2019 to meet its goal.

Undaunted by the “before” Jen just keeps moving forward!

In 2012, I was introduced to a young protective mother like Jen. She was desperate. When she left her husband whose violence had escalated to strangulation, her family loaned her money to hire an attorney. Still, she was facing an uphill battle in family court to keep her daughter safe. (A bloody battle from which I still have my own scars and in which I lost my son.) “I’ve hired a fierce attorney,” she told me, “but he won’t listen to my concerns. He tells me I’m being unreasonable.” She named him and my heart sank. The man was a “father’s rights” lawyer, unscrupulous, who had represented my son’s abuser as his fourth attorney in Oregon family court and had prevailed. “You can’t be represented by this man,” I told her. Even if you have to sacrifice the $5,000 retainer fee you just paid him, you need a real advocate.” Still destitute from my own family court financial abuse, a cousin had gifted me with $3,000 to help me stay afloat. “Listen,” I said,” I’ll give you $300. It’s a tenth of the gift given to me, so that you can consult with an attorney familiar with domestic violence issues in child custody disputes.” Since I no longer contributed to the Catholic church, I would tithe to a much better cause, a child’s safety. Maria took my check, found a new attorney and today ~ after years of uphill battle and a dozen court hearings ~ her daughter is safe.

Your contribution to “Beloved Cheesecakes,” no matter how modest,can be the one that brings Jen’s miracle into being. Be an angel. Make a contribution by clicking on the Kickstarter link above.

Hard work pays off!

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