Don’t be Afraid to Take Whisks: Former Foster Youth Shares Her Journey Into Baking
Jameelah Love grew up in foster care. Now in her 30s, Love has aged out of foster care and is working hard to make a name for herself.
“I’ve always been the person to make sweets,” said Love. “So, when COVID hit, I was wondering, ‘Can I make a living off of baking?’ I started selling baked goods from my home and people were actually buying them, which shocked me.”
From there, Caked with Love was born.
Now a few years in, Love was finally started to see and feel her business succeed.
“Over the past couple of years, I’ve just been doing my best to get better and better. I’m still not where I want to be, but I’m definitely not where I was.”
That’s when the unthinkable happened. Love’s car was stolen from in front of her Milwaukee home.
“I had a habit of going to the front window and looking outside, and my car was not there,” said Love. “I started panicking because that’s my baby.”
After calming down, Love realized that all her baking supplies were in the now-stolen vehicle. Love, who had moved to Milwaukee just three days prior, was feeling overwhelmed and discouraged.
“In December of 2021, I had surgery. I was out of work for about four months because I was too sick to go back. I made it through that and then a little while after that, my car had some engine problems. I was living off my credit cards at the time. I had just started getting financially stable again and somebody had the nerve to steal my stuff.”
Several local news outlets reported the story. That’s when Christine Woods, Independent Living Supervisor at Wellpoint Care Network, knew she needed to help.
“I had tears in my eyes,” said Woods. “I was like, ‘That’s my Jameelah.’”
Love and Woods share a special bond.
Love was a part of Wellpoint Care Network’s Youth Transitioning to Adulthood program and Woods was her case worker. The two have known each other for nearly 15 years.
“Right away, I sent a link to our CEO and said, ‘I think we should do something.’ I said why not just buy all her supplies, so she gets her business back up and running, I think that would make her happier than anything. This way any other money she makes, she can use for a vehicle.”
So that’s just what happened. Wellpoint Care bought cake pans, cheesecake molds, cake boxes and more and donated all the supplies to Love.
“She had me crying, and I never cry,” said Love. “I don’t even know how to put into words how I have felt about Christine and Wellpoint Care reaching out.”
“I’m so proud of you,” Woods told Love during the exchange.
Love is now continuing to work hard to build Caked with Love. One thing she is particularly proud of is her “Fostered with Love” program, where each month Love makes a youth in foster care a birthday cake for free.
“I always want to find a way where I can give back to the community that I’m most connected with, which is foster care because I was in foster care.”
To learn more about Wellpoint Care Network’s services, click here.