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Teen Bakes Cupcakes for a Good Cause

Good Samaritan: Eilean McFadden for helping homeless program's luncheons.

January 27, 2017

Albuquerque- Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry awarded Eilean McFadden as this week’s Good Samaritan for providing special confections for a local homeless program’s luncheons for the benefit.

Every month the Albuquerque Heading Home hosts a peer-to-peer luncheon. The luncheons are for the program’s clients to come together, share a meal and share their experiences with one another in spirit of comradery. Amongst other things, the luncheons provide clients with an opportunity to give and receive encouragement. These luncheons were in part made possible because of the giving actions of McFadden and her mother, Karen Johnston.

Every month, over the past few years, McFadden and Johnston set aside time to bake, from scratch, four dozen cupcakes for the monthly luncheons for Heading Home’s clients to enjoy. McFadden creates a new type of cupcake for each luncheon, with flavors ranging from Mayan chocolate to cherry limeade, all decorated by hand.

McFadden became interested in baking after viewing the show Cupcake Wars, and she soon began to experiment with recipes on her own. Her chocolate and coffee with chai frosting cupcake earned her the title of “Best Kid Baker” for the Southwest Chocolate and Coffee Fest.

In addition to baking, 13 year-old McFadden makes healthy cooking videos for the KidsCook! YouTube channel. She also swims competitively, does gymnastics, performs acrobatics in a circus, teaches breakdancing, and is a straight-A student. Both she and her mother have a very full schedule, but feel that it’s important to make time to give back. When asked about her contributions to Heading Home, McFadden commented, “It’s fun and I like what Heading Home is doing. I like baking, and I don’t like homelessness. There’s enough houses, so I don’t see any reason for it.”

McFadden’s cupcakes for the clients who participate in the Heading Home peer-to-peer luncheons are an example of her selfless and creative character. It is for these reasons that McFadden was recognized as this week’s City of Albuquerque’s Good Samaritan.


Heading Home is a 501(c)(3) that runs several initiatives - Albuquerque Heading Home, Vets Heading Home, Keeping Families Together and the Albuquerque Opportunity Center which includes a men’s shelter, respite and Veteran transitional housing. Mayor Berry started the Albuquerque Heading Home, and Vets Heading home that have housed over 600 individuals. All programs, collectively have transitioned more than 1,800 individuals and their family members into housing.