Stand Up As One: One girl's cupcake stand for justice
Seven year old Salvationist Aria has taken this year's Self Denial challenge 'Stand Up As One' to heart.
'CUPCAKES! Cupcakes are delicious and I thought 'lots of people like cupcakes!'' - Aria
Aria is a beaming, bright girl. At seven years old (nearly eight, she says!), she is already a keen baker - but the sweet creations her mother is helping her sell around Hamilton City aren't for pocket money or the movies.
Aria is making, decorating and selling all kinds of flavours of cupcakes to raise money for The Salvation Army's mission in Haiti, Georgia, Tanzania and Indonesia. She has taken up the invitation to be part of The Salvation Army's Self Denial Appeal.
‘Our church - The Salvation Army - stands up for people all over the world who are struggling and need hope. Our hope is that over the next six weeks as you play, create, discuss and pray together that you’ll discover that when we stand together as one, our love and generosity changes lives all over the world.' - Self Denial Appeal children's video
Sweet, sweet justice
Aria's mother Bekx refers to her as a 'little social justice warrior'.
At the start of The Salvation Army's six week Self Denial Appeal children's series, children were asked to personalise a money box and brainstorm ways to join the mission and help others overseas. She says Aria's idea to sell cupcakes began when she began to assemble her money box, and 'her brain started ticking thinking up creative ways to fill it.'
Aria replies 'Well actually, I just thought of little stands and people selling things and I wondered what we could sell and then I thought CUPCAKES! Cupcakes are delicious and I thought 'lots of people like cupcakes!'
Aria enlisted the help of her 'assistants... mum and my little brother' and made cupcake flavours like 'Berry Delight', 'Chocolate with salted caramel frosting', 'Vanilla with cookies and cream' and 'Gingerbread with toffee frosting', available around Hamilton for a gold coin.
'Her self denial is denying herself eating any of the cupcakes!' laughs Bekx.
Self denial in The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army Self Denial Appeal is a staple of the Salvationist calendar. Begun in 1886 by co-founder William Booth, Self Denial 'calls Salvationists to give sacrificially and to deny themselves so that they could offer God's love to a hurting world.' This year's theme for The Salvation Army New Zealand and Australia is 'We Rise as One'.
The Salvation Army Self Denial Appeal's children's videos adaptation is Stand Up As One, with mother and daughter Salvationists Aimee and Adelaide inviting children to partner with The Salvation Army's mission in Haiti, Georgia, Tanzania and Indonesia.
The videos, workbook and interactive activities have all inspired children across the nation to get creative with the way they engage with the mission of The Salvation Army. The four themes are:
- Stand up for families in need
- Stand up for people who are alone
- Stand up for someone else’s future
- Stand up for the mistreated.
At the end of the series, the children bring all the money in the money box to give as on offering, on Self Denial Sunday with the wider Corps.
A call to stand up as one
'Because I already have enough money and they don't.'
When asked why she wanted to raise money for people in other countries, Aria replies 'Because I already have enough money and they don't.'
This is an awesome testament to children's desire to partner in The Salvation Army's mission, as useful and essential members of our church. And her parting advice for people thinking about giving to the Self Denial Appeal?
'They need to get inspired'.
We certainly are inspired, and we hope you are too! Good job Aria and your team - this is a wonderful testimony to the fiery work of Salvationists doing whatever they can to bless those in other countries and at home.
Just like those cupcakes, may we truly rise as one.