Do you know what Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is all about?
Well, yeah, we’re all about wiping pediatric cancer off the planet one cookie at a time.
But we’re also about bringing people TOGETHER for a common cause. Every time there is a Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale or event of any kind, our co-founders get pumped to hear about the experience of the people involved - the hard work, the funny moments, the new friendships formed. Larry and Gretchen want community and togetherness to be a key ingredient of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer because they believe in the power of people working as a team.
That love of teamwork is leading Cookies to new partnerships with other organizations who want to join our mission to find cures for pediatric cancer – organizations like the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance. All fall, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer received support and encouragement from the members of the NYWCA – an organization of New York women who are passionate about food and wine while also working in the industry. These women are chefs and writers, instructors and professionals who all love and believe in the power of food. They also believe in Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.
Shortly after launching our Cookies website, NYWCA featured us in their weekly newsletter, encouraging members to become involved by hosting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sales and events. Back in December, many members volunteered for the enormous bake-a-thon for the cookies we baked, packaged and shipped to families at Ronald McDonald Houses across the country. Then, as the year came to a close, Cookies learned the NYWCA was planning to make a $2,500 donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Humbled and honored, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer accepted the money to go toward research for pediatric cancer treatments.
The New York Women’s Culinary Alliance represents the power of partnership – not only because of a generous donation but because of the hands-on nature of NYWCA’s involvement. And as a team we are just getting started. NYWCA members are gearing up now for a Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale already in the works for early May.
Teamwork – that’s what we’re all about. At Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, we believe that if we all do a little, together we will do a lot to change the facts of pediatric cancer. We hope you join us!
We just heard from Amanda, an amazing supporter in Naperville, Illinois, who held a bake sale on Sunday, December 21st outside the entrance to her local Trader Joe’s grocery store. At Cookies, we’ve been so excited about her bake sale. Amanda had registered her sale on the website, used many of our online bake sale tools and generally knocked our socks off with planning expertise – donations were flooding in, her location was great and with hot cocoa and cider to offer, she was ready to keep her customers warm on the first official day of Winter.
Then, a crazy thing happened on the bake sale day. It was cold – really cold. Amanda’s bake sale was held on the coldest day in Chicago since 1996! When she went to set up, the temperature was -2 degrees with a windchilld of -20. And she still set up and sold cookies – for an entire hour! Amazing. What’s even more amazing is the $300 she raised in just one hour. Without a doubt, her willingness to stand in the cold paid off for all of us looking to raise money for a cure for pediatric cancers.
With many leftovers, Amanda took the remainder of her goodies to the downtown Chicago Ronald McDonald House later in the week to offer a nice holiday surprise to the families staying in the home away from home. The Ronald McDonald House was extra special to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer in December. Just two weeks earlier, Cookies co-founders Gretchen and Larry coordinated a volunteer effort to bake, package and ship 13,000 gourmet cookies to Ronald McDonald Houses across the country. The Witts know the challenges and loneliness of having a sick child and wanted to make sure families staying away from home with sick children during the holidays knew they were thinking about them and wishing them well.
Amanda, thank you for your dedicated effort to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Your bake sale represents the spirit of our goal to change the scary facts about pediatric cancer forever. Happy New Year and STAY WARM!
The celebration of Epiphany was earlier this week – January 6 to be exact. From a Christian standpoint, Epiphany is the end of the Christmas holiday – the official “12th day of Chirstmas.” Growing up in my house, January 6th was the day my mom unplugged and packed away the candles she placed in the windows every Christmas season. For bakers, recipes for buttery breads with various fillings are used on this one day of the year to create yummy, memorable desserts. In so many ways, Epiphany feels like an end when in fact it is the transition to a beginning - a time to start anew.
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is embracing the transition into the new year by reflecting on where we’ve been while simultaneously moving forward. As we reflect, we see the names of each of you who worked so hard to host bake sales in the fall. So many of you answered Gretchen’s call to action on her birthday and delivered with bake sales that raised hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to help find a cure for pediatric cancer. We cannot thank you enough for your willingness to give of yourself, your time, your energy and your spirit to spread the word about the need for funds for kids’ cancers and to share our story with those in your community or at your work. Every penny raised counts. Every person who bought a cookie matters. Thank you for your contributions to our mission to end pediatric cancer in 2008.
And to those who participated in the Second Annual Great Holiday Cookie Sale by purchasing cookies either for yourself or a loved one, we extend our thanks for giving the gift of cookies and giving us the gift of HOPE. The 2008 holiday season will certainly be remembered by many for the fear associated with a bad economy and job losses. Many families faced frightening financial realities. Many non-profit organizations saw fewer and fewer donations as the economic news got worse and worse. But at Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, we will remember 2008 for the oh-so-steady stream of cookie sales right up to and into the new year. We will remember each of you who believed in us and our mission and our goal of selling cookies as a way to end pediatric cancer forever. We want to thank each of you for making 2008′s Holiday Cookie Sale one to remember.
We’re moving forward here at Cookies in 2009. At this moment, pretty pink ribbon is being selected that will be perfect for cookies you order from us for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day! Earlier this week, we learned of more bake sales being planned for early spring and even summer. Each day, we are certain of one thing – that together, we can make a difference in the world of pediatric cancer. Thank you for making a difference 2008. We cannot wait to see the amazing things we can do together in 2009.