What do a gorilla, a sea turtle, a polar bear, a panda, and a tiger have in common?

They are all on the endangered species list. And this weekend, they will all be… dessert.

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Everyone loves cupcakes. And Girl Scout Laura Helgeson loves animals.

Logo courtesy of worldwildlife.org

Logo courtesy of worldwildlife.org

“All my life I always liked animals and I always had a special spot for them. And I always liked endangered animals and the idea of helping endangered animals. They’re pretty important to me,” says Helgeson.

Last year, Helgeson was surfing the web when she saw something that caught her attention.

“I was online and I found a website and it’s called World Wildlife Fund or WWF and they go around and they help all these endangered species. And I thought, oh that’s really cool. I should do some fundraising because they have a place for donations. I was in Girl Scouts and I thought it would be awesome if I could do it with my Girl Scout troop,” says Helgeson.

But how do you raise money in rural Alaska for tigers and sea turtles on the other side of the world?

This is where the cupcakes come in. Like I said earlier, everyone loves cupcakes.

“Okay so what we’re doing is we picked a few of the different animals that’s on the endangered species list. We’re going to sell cupcakes and the top of the cupcakes are actually going to look like the animals’ faces. And we’re going to try to raise money and then we’re going to send it in,” says Helgeson.

Troop leader Diane O’Brien says each scout is responsible for making and decorating a dozen cupcakes.

“And so all the girls are really excited. They love to bake and decorate, so it really took off and we’re really excited. We’ve made posters and we’ll have some takeaways—some information about each species, some characteristics of them and why they are on the endangered list,” says O’Brien.

She says it’s a great way for all of the scouts to learn about and actively contribute to a good cause.

It also encourages them to take initiative and pursue subjects they are interested in.

“We try to make the Girl Scout activities and projects girl-led. We want to follow their interests and passions because we never know where that’s going to end up. You never know where that’s going to end up. Maybe they’ll find a career or involve more volunteer work and spread the word of their passion. And it’s just sort of that ripple effect. That’s exciting to see them excited and us just to help them along with their projects and ideas,” says O’Brien.

Scout Helgeson says all of the proceeds from the endangered cupcakes will go to the World Wildlife Fund.

The Girl Scouts will be selling endangered species cupcakes this Saturday at City Market starting at 9am. The Scouts will also have Irish soda bread for sale for people not craving sweets.

They will also be taking donations to send to the WWF.