Baking with a mission

“Eat cupcakes and cure cancer.” That’s the motto of 15-year-old Molly Butts. Throughout 2020, this young entrepreneur has been raising money to support cancer research and care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund in a tasty way: baking and selling cupcakes for a cause she believes in.

Since September, Molly has baked over 1,000 cupcakes and raised more than $5,000 to support the Jimmy Fund. She also makes masks and t-shirts, all by hand, to support her fundraising efforts. She started with a modest goal, but has since exceeded all expectations—and she doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.

Molly chose to fundraise for Dana-Farber because of her personal experience with cancer. Her uncle, with whom she had a close bond, passed away from cancer in 2008 when she was just 3. Since then, her family has participated in the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk nearly every year, with family traveling from as far as Florida to join their efforts. She has since lost her grandfather to cancer as well, giving the family’s efforts even greater meaning.

Her cupcake cause has brought together her family and her community, with many purchasing treats or making donations; she even created a “heroes” section of her webpage to give supporters the opportunity to share who their donation is in honor or memory of.

“There have been a lot of heartwarming stories from people who know someone who is either fighting or has passed away from cancer. While these stories are sad, I’m happy to see what I’m doing is touching other people,” Molly says.

Molly’s passion for baking started when she was 5, when she entered a competition with her aunt, who was a baker. While her focus was mainly on decoration at the time, she came in second overall and her passion grew from there.

“Once I started to progress and become more skilled, I started making cakes for events for my family and friends,” Molly explains. “I made cupcakes for teachers when it was the end of kindergarten. I made a cake for my brother when he got his license. And I made many birthdays cakes.”

As she continued in school and extracurricular activities became more demanding, Molly fell away from baking a bit, but has been newly inspired by how this skill can help her give back to those in need.

“It means a lot to me to support the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber,” Molly says. “I just want to make a difference, and by doing what I’m doing I believe I am contributing to an important cause.”

You can follow along Molly’s baking adventures at @mollyscancermovement on Instagram. Do you have skills of your own you would like to contribute to the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber? Learn how you can start your own fundraising page.