Maria Wassef, right, founder of Maria's Cupcakes for the Homeless,tries to comfort Esparanza Martinez after bringing her a birthday cupcake at the Immokalee Friendship House on Thursday. 'Esperanza, I want to wish you a happy birthday,' Wassef says, standing beside her. 'I want you to know that somebody thinks about you, that somebody cares about you. I want to help you have hope for the future.'  Wassef, 55, who lives in Naples, started the charity in early 2009 to lift the spirits of people whose birthdays often go unnoticed. Today, she sends about 2,700 birthday cupcakes each month to 45 shelters in Florida and California. Lexey Swall/Staff

Photo by LEXEY SWALL

Maria Wassef, right, founder of Maria's Cupcakes for the Homeless,tries to comfort Esparanza Martinez after bringing her a birthday cupcake at the Immokalee Friendship House on Thursday. "Esperanza, I want to wish you a happy birthday," Wassef says, standing beside her. "I want you to know that somebody thinks about you, that somebody cares about you. I want to help you have hope for the future." Wassef, 55, who lives in Naples, started the charity in early 2009 to lift the spirits of people whose birthdays often go unnoticed. Today, she sends about 2,700 birthday cupcakes each month to 45 shelters in Florida and California. Lexey Swall/Staff

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