Jacob’s faith & Jesus’ fish

Local boy uses bake sale to help others
Friday, December 21, 2018
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IOTA - What difference can 65 cupcakes make? Forty-eight people will find out this Christmas.

Five-year-old Jacob Clayton of Iota and his siblings have been learning this Advent about the importance of serving those in need. Realizing just how much some children his own age lack, Jacob was moved to serve.

“We discussed the fact that some children don’t even have a home or parents,” his mother Molly Clayton said. “He was completely heartbroken after we talked about that.”

Jacob asked his parents if the family could purchase Christmas gifts for orphaned children. Like many families, however, Molly said her family did not have extra dollars to spare. So Jacob asked his mother if they could host a bake sale to raise funds.

Molly decided to host a one-day cupcake sell at Local, her business located in Jennings. She used social media to spread the word about Jacob’s idea. Despite good intentions, there were obstacles to overcome.

“I didn’t have extra money to buy a bunch of cupcake ingredients,” Molly said. “Then I burned a batch of cupcakes. I cried because of that. We ended up with only 65 cupcakes.”

The family by that point had committed to helping a few children. If sold for $2 each, the available cupcakes stood to bring in $130.

“These kids were asking for small things like underwear, hair brushes and a calculator for school,” Molly said. “I told God, ‘I cannot afford to buy all we need for these kids if we don’t sell enough cupcakes, and we are only coming to the table with 65 of them.’”

Then God reminded Molly of the loaves and fish. One of the miracles of Jesus recorded in the New Testament is the feeding of 5,000 men — not including women and children who were present — with what started as only five loaves of bread and two fish.

“I was still fearful looking at our measly amount of cupcakes while I was loading everything for the store,” Molly said. “I whispered to myself, ‘Just offer the loaves and the fish.’”

Jacob, however, had no fear, only faith. On the way to begin their bake sale, his mother asked why he thought to raise money for people in need.

His answer?

“It’s Advent, Mom. We should be sharing and caring.”

By the end of the day, Jacob sold all 65 cupcakes for $2 but came away with $1,200.

“You do the math on how we got that amount,” Molly said. “We had donations pouring into a Pay Pal account with awesome messages attached for Jacob. We read every one. I was just beside myself with the generosity of this community and the public.”

In fact, the donated funds not only helped to meet the needs of the children Jacob originally pledged to help. He was able to help additional kids. Ultimately, the project provided Christmas gifts for eight children, as well as wool socks, gloves and hats for 40 homeless men and women.

Even after that, some money was left over. Molly said the extra funds had purpose, too. Not long after the cupcake sale, a local family lost their home in a fire. They were able to receive a monetary donation. Finally, the family of a wounded veteran was blessed through the project as well.