Beyond the Bright Lights of Las Vegas

As a Las Vegas native, I grew up surrounded by the sights and sounds of the sex industry. With about 30 strip clubs operating within Las Vegas, and escort services advertised everywhere, I was certain I knew more than the average person about the business. However, I’ve since learned that what I “knew” was based on false assumptions, while turning a blind eye to the need for compassion and support in the adult entertainment community. I feel so fortunate to be able to give back to my city and spread love with The Cupcake Girls. After volunteering on a few different teams, I recently accepted the role of Client Outreach Specialist, which allows me to volunteer my time for our monthly...


Our Relationship Mission

I have been volunteering with The Cupcake Girls PDX since June of 2012. I heard about the organization through friends. My friends told me they were looking for spa professionals to help with an event, which is right up my ally. So I looked up The Cupcake Girls online, immediately filled out an application and waited to attend an orientation. At the orientation, I decided what teams I would like to volunteer on, Direct Care and Special events. I then found out I would not be able to do direct care until after a 90 trial period and more training. Fast forward to November, after months of attending meetings and working multiple events, I got to do my direct care training. December comes and...


We Thrive on Diversity

Last month I had the great pleasure of joining our other Portland staff and directors, along with our awesome founder, on a retreat. As volunteers who give over 40 hours a month to The Cupcake Girls we so appreciate the annual weekend of bonding with each other and taking a quick break from our hectic lives. I had too many favorite parts to pick just one, but there is one I wanted to share. One of our Portland volunteers is a high school guidance counselor and she was able to come out to share a training all about the Enneagram with our group. We learned about our own personalities, how each person reacts to stress, and the best way to interact with each other, while k​eeping our newfound...


Core Value #1 - Be Honest

As an organization, The Cupcake Girls operate under five core values: be honest, be humble, be progressive, be excellent, and love without agenda. These values are things we strive for in our everyday interactions, and what we try to build our culture around (from staff to volunteers). Recently, we have come under some criticism in a few areas for not being what other people expect. Some people want us to be religious and operate as a ministry. Some people want us to be political and they become frustrated when we remain neutral. Some people want us to offer more resources than we are currently able to provide. We take criticism seriously - we want to learn from it and use it to grow -...


Turning Passion Toward Community

One of the many things I love about Cupcake Girls is our sense of community. The community we have with city of Portland, the people we assist, and the volunteers. I knew from a young age that I loved people. I loved learning about different cultures, my friends, family, and always had a soft spot for the kids that didn’t have a lot of friends. I knew everyone had a story that brought them where they are today. The definition of community is a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of common attitudes, interests, and goals. That is what we are and how we thrive; getting to know our clients and learning their needs, reaching out to local businesses to create partnerships and...


My Portland Summer

This summer I got the privilege of interning with The Cupcake Girls Portland. I had been volunteering with them for about six months prior to my internship, so I really felt like I had a little bit of an understanding of how the organization worked, what their goals were and I was excited to see what this summer had to offer. I was hired on their team as the Chief of Community Development, which meant I saw over Donor Relations, Community Relations, Fundraising and PR/Marketing. In the beginning, Amy, the Portland City Director made it very clear that my internship was not going to be about making copies and fetching coffee. She planned on truly challenging me in this leadership position...


An Invitation to Change the World

My eyes are welling up with tears as I try to share what is weighing on my heart like a ton of bricks. There have been many moments over the past five years when this weight feels like more than I can bear. Many of you don’t really understand the value of what we do, and I know this because the same questions get blurted out every single time I share the message of The Cupcake Girls: “You give cupcakes for strippers, sex workers, and porn stars? Why?” “Certainly there must be better, more important, and more needy causes out there?” I have to be honest with you – as I’ve started this nonprofit and experienced heartaches and setbacks, I’ve had some of the same questions. If I...


The Value of Emotional Support

In working with clients, we encounter various situations daily. Two clients I had been working with recently were struggling with homelessness because of unhealthy relationships. Both were sex workers and primarily in need of emotional support as they made better, healthier decisions to get themselves into stable housing. One client went back to the unhealthy relationship and expressed that her life must be a real mess if staying in a bad relationship is easier than finding a safe place to live. We offered her housing options that she declined, but she stayed in touch to text me about other things. I asked her if she could be somewhere else right now, where would she be? She replied,...


Sustainable Secrets

Having been active in volunteer work from the age of fifteen (or maybe younger) I thought I knew a lot about non-profits. I definitely knew a lot about empathy and generosity having worked with so many great organizations and leaders over the past fifteen years. This spirit of generosity I observed in my mentors is initially what compelled me to choose a Portland non -profit to work with when I moved here. What I never realized was how much I would learn about myself from the amazing volunteers and clients of The Cupcake Girls. One of our underlying core values is “self-care.” In over fifteen years of volunteer work I’m not sure why I never heard this term before working with The...


What in the world is "Cupcake Academy"?

One of our core values is to be progressive. We always want to grow as an organization and develop better skills to assist the adult entertainment community. We want to provide our clients with all the tools they need to live healthy, inspired lives. A few months ago, we asked some of our clients what kinds of resources we could provide that they would find useful. When we gathered the results, the overwhelming choice was monthly classes to provide education on a variety of topics. With this new feedback, we launched a new component of our Direct Care services for clients – monthly enrichment classes, with topics that the clients choose. We call it “Cupcake Academy.” You might have...