Two SMU undergrads give back through sweet treats

During the Circuit Breaker period, final year students Lim Lik Shi and Ong Yuan Qi gave back to the community through their love for baking

Lim Lik Shi and Ong Yuan Qi have probably spent most of their time at SMU at opposite ends of the University campus. But if there’s one thing that connects them, it’s their piping hot passion – for baking, that is.

For final-year business student Lim Lik Shi, creating beautiful desserts has always been an important part of her. She runs a part-time home-based bakery called Liksandbakes on Instgram, where she takes requests for customised cakes and other sweet treats.

Because of Covid-19, she was recalled from an overseas exchange programme and soon realised how severely the pandemic progressed. That became the impetus for her to want to give back to the community - especially to those working tirelessly during the outbreak; she felt that healthcare workers at hospitals could do with a morale booster with some pick-me-ups. She decided to bake cupcakes for them.

“It's a small gesture but I wanted to thank the frontline workers for their hard work and sacrifices made while fighting the Covid-19 battle,” said Lik Shi.

Through her mother’s contacts, she connected with National University Health System (NUHS) and donated 100 cupcakes to its staff in April. Her mother helped with some deliveries as Lik Shi had her Term 3 studies then. As the Circuit Breaker kicked in abruptly in April, her initial plans to donate 400 cupcakes were slowed tremendously. Now that measures have somewhat eased, Lik Shi will be making another round of cupcake donations in early August, to coincide with Singapore Nurses’ Day.

Like Lik Shi, final-year social sciences student Ong Yuan Qi felt a definite calling to make use of her brownie-baking talent to give back in one way or another. She decided to start a project, simply called “The Amateur Baker” on Instagram to bake and sell brownies and donate all proceeds to a charity. Yuan Qi said that as her dream was to one day open a bakery, it was an opportune moment to do something for the community, and at the same time, kick-start her venture.

She directed her fundraising effort to Free Food For All (FFFA), a charity which provides nutritious food for the less fortunate in society.

“I love food and I feel strongly for communities who aren't able to share this privilege (of having sufficient food) - especially during this time. The vulnerable face difficulties making ends meet, so I wanted to help fund some meals for those in need,” she explained.

Yuan Qi embarked on her project in early June and wrapped it up at the end of the month. In all, she raised $2430, which was donated to FFFA.

Yuan Qi’s project was challenging at some points because of the shortage of baking supplies, and safety restriction measures, but it allowed her to experience the strong support from family and friends - especially those who gave her messages of encouragement or snacks when she delivered the brownies.

She added: “The project may not have the biggest impact monetarily, but people appreciated the intention, and this definitely made the experience fulfilling. I also learnt that little things can be great as well, as long as you put your heart into it!