Submitted by: Tam Emery

Thirteen-year old Tam Emery hit the news recently with her fundraising campaign in support of the the Happy Feet Youth Project soup kitchen. The kitchen, located in Langa, Cape Town, has the byline ‘We lift as we rise’ which is perfectly suited for Tam’s baking fundraiser.

Her mum was making soup for the project and Tam wanted to help. She didn’t know how to make soup, though. But she did know how to make cinnabons very well! This is where the idea of baking and selling the buns and donating the proceeds to the feeding scheme originated. A worthy lockdown project. She says that she thought the baking would be fun. A much better way to generate some income than babysitting!

 “In two months, the trio baked enough buns to earn over R22 000 for the soup kitchen!”

Tam found it quite easy to get started. She created an advert which her mum, Debbie, posted on their neighbourhood chat. Then, on 28 April this year, Tam got her first order. Both her baking business and the fundraising effort simply took off.

She roped in three friends, two besties from her class and one from another class. Their help was sorely needed to cope with the avalanche of orders. They all enjoy baking. In two months, the trio baked enough buns to earn over R22 000 for the soup kitchen! Her original target was R5 000, but Tam decided to keep going once she had reached it.

“The buns are not that hard to make.”

This smart, charitable entrepreneur has been baking since she was 5 years old. Her mum says that her children learnt to crack eggs when they were two. She always included them in her baking. They started out making pancakes. It’s no wonder that Tam says, “The buns are not that hard to make.” They do take three hours from start to finish, though. With yeast and all that entails. She chose to make the cinnabons because most people would not make them for themselves. No surprises there!

Tam says she loves baking for people. She also plays the violin, loves reading and “really” loves animals. She has two dogs: a Labrador called Jessie, and a terrier called Scruffy. 

“…a true hero and role model for others…”

It’s back to school for Tam now but she will continue to fill orders. We wish this kind, generous soul – with an entrepreneurial spirit to match – much success in her venture in the future. She is a true hero and role model for others, both young and old.

#ImStaying thanks you for being such an inspiration, Tam!  You’ve given us a very good reason to #Stay.

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