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Portage student helping the homeless--one sweet treat at a time

Portage student helping the homeless--one sweet treat at a time
Portage student helping the homeless--one sweet treat at a time
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PORTAGE, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A 6th grader from St. Michael's Lutheran School, in Portage, is trying to help the homeless--one sweet at a time.

What started as a homework assignment has now turned into a non-profit business.

11-year-old Layla Wallace has always been interested in giving back and helping others.

So when she was assigned an economics project a couple years ago, she found a way to make that about others too.

With every crack of an egg and every stir of batter, Wallace is getting closer and closer to her goal. She dreams big, and she's hoping cooking sweets can get her there.

"Brownies, with anything inside it or on top of it," she said of her wares. "Cupcakes and cake pops."

In 4th grade, Layla sold her sweets as part of an economics project. Once she tasted success, Layla's Cool Pops was born.

But it's her business model that makes this truly sweet.

"I thought, OK, well I like to help people, and those were really delicious," she said.

"It was no surprise when she said I want this to be for homeless families, I want to purchase a home for homeless families; and that's what she wanted to do," said her mother, Luchara Wallace.

Layla is in talks with organizations like the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission to actually buy a house for a deserving family, using her earnings.

She's applied for non-profit status and started a website.

Her goal? $50,000.

"They don't have a house. And I know that we have homeless shelters, but I want to help them with bigger things," Layla said.

So far, she's made about one thousand dollars. So she's got a long way to go.

But Luchara says don't underestimate Layla's determination.

"We can always set the bar low and reach it, but when we set that higher bar then that's when you actually get to see the strength of a person," she said.

You have a chance to help with Layla's Sweets for Homeless Initiative.

She's holding a benefit concert on Friday in downtown Kalamazoo, and she's raffling off an American Girl doll as well.

The Sweets for Homeless Benefit Concert will be held this Friday October 7th from 7 to 9 p.m. It's being held at the Park Trade Center, located at 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave, Suite 304.

For more information you can email:

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You can also find Layla's website here.

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