MIAMI GARDENS — Myriam Masihy reports the news daily on Spanish-language network Univision’s local affiliate Channel 23.
But there’s something about her that most TV viewers probably don’t know. In her spare time, Masihy helps hundreds of foster children in Miami-Dade and Broward counties celebrate their birthdays through her nonprofit organization Kakes 4 Kids.
On Saturday, Masihy partnered with the local company The Office Cake and stopped by His House Children’s Home, 20000 N.W. 47th Ave., Miami Gardens, with food, gifts, music, amusements and 11 personalized cakes to help the organization celebrate the March birthdays of 11 of the children in its care.
Under a St. Patrick’s Day theme, each birthday boy and girl played games and enjoyed a unique birthday cake with a design based on his or her own personal taste, from a baseball cap to a soccer field to fashion couture.
Kathy Smith, who has been a volunteer at His House since last September, and the 4-year-old girl she mentors through the organization were part of the group. Wearing gold and silver beads around her neck, the little girl told Smith about the fun she was having. Her identity cannot be revealed due to privacy laws concerning foster children.
Kakes 4 Kids has been hosting monthly birthday parties for the foster children at His House for a year. This month, The Office Cake stepped in to help, donating four of the 11 cakes.
“It’s a great way to help out the kids,” said company owner Sarah Paz-Claro.
About 200 partygoers enjoyed the festivities, including the 140 foster children who live at His House, a residential home for abused and neglected children and teenagers, along with their mentors and house parents.
The staff at His House take photos at the birthday parties to help the children create an album of childhood memories, said Jackie Raventos, activities and volunteer coordinator at His House.
Kakes 4 Kids was already been holding monthly birthday parties for Children’s Harbor, a children’s residential care facility in Pembroke Pines, when it hosted its first event, a Valentine’s Day party, at His House in February 2011. A month later, the birthday parties began at His House and have remained a monthly ritual ever since.
Donations help Kakes 4 Kids’ pay for each party, costing about $2,000, Masihy said. Her inspiration for Kakes 4 Kids came from her adopted daughters Gabriela, 5, and Fahra, 3. “We were giving them these beautiful birthday parties and we realized that there were other kids out there who weren’t having them,” Masihy said. She launched Kakes 4 Kids in November 2009.
Paz-Claro, daughter of Miami cake baker Ana Paz, wanted to do something similar for children through The Office Cake since she launched the business in August 2010. When she learned about Kakes 4 Kids last December, she contacted Masihy and teamed up with her for Saturday’s event.
“I myself have a son and couldn’t imagine him not having a cake on his birthday,” Paz-Claro said. “This is why Kakes 4 Kids touched my heart and made me realize this is something I have to do.”
The Office Cake pledged to donate 12 cakes throughout the year to Kakes 4 Kids and is presently scouting for cake sponsors. The company plans to match every $30 cake donation it receives, said company official Eddy Claro.
To donate to the cost of cakes for His House parties, visit theofficecake.com/pages/kakes-4-kids
Photo: EDDY CLARO/THE OFFICE CAKE
BIRTHDAY TIME: Sarah Paz-Claro of The Office Cake company plays games with a child at the His House Children’s Home in Miami Gardens during a special birthday party that her company Kakes 4 Kids hosted on Saturday.