Little cakes with BIG messages: St. Thomas Aquinas parents bake cupcakes to show they care

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - It's a simple thing. With simple ingredients, like butter, cinnamon, baking soda. And for this particular recipe, there's pumpkin pie spice.

Each ingredient playing its own special role in the creation of the finished product.

A cupcake.

But on this day at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, the cupcakes are destined for something much bigger.

Parents baked nearly 1000 cupcakes to show kids they care.

Aquinas held its Suicide Prevention Week this week. They talked about suicide. They talked about coping. They talked about sharing their burdens.

But before this week, the school counselor asked parents would they be willing to help with something.

Would they be willing to help share a message on the last day of Suicide Prevention Week.

She asked, would they help by baking cupcakes.

"I had an overwhelming response. And I had to send out an emergency email that I was covered because I was even 600 over at one point and I had to stop the emails," said Laura Cline, the school counselor.

So many parents wanting the same thing this counselor wanted. That "every single student here to know someone cares enough about them to bake for them."

A student handmade all the little cupcake flags to help spread the messages of encouragement.

The Center for Disease Control has staggering statistics on suicide. Numbers which would likely shock most who hear them:

  • The third leading case of death among kids age 10-14, is suicide.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for teenagers.

"If that was a virus that was killing our kids, we'd be throwing all sorts of money at this problem. There's still a stigma to talking about suicide'" said Cline.  

So, this week, they're talking. And learning. And receiving their cupcakes. With little messages.

Students with their special cupcakes.

"You are Awesome" and "You are Special" and "You are loved".

It's a simple thing - a simple ingredient - in the life of a teen to show they're loved.



Christa Dubill can be reached at

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