Halloween Fun = Hope for Kids Fighting Cancer

Filed under: Donations,Good Cookies,Inspire — The Good Cookies @ 6:45 am October 25, 2013

Trick-or-treating is something nearly every child looks forward to. While many go for the candy, others love dressing up and getting to play with friends after dark! Either way, there’s no reason it can’t serve an additional purpose.

Last year, a dad bet his 11-year-old son Reid that he couldn’t go the entire holiday season without junk food. Reid rose to the challenge and surpassed expectations when he chose to go trick-or-treating. Rather than candy,  he collected change, and then donated it to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Inspired by his act, we wanted to share this idea, and show how to have a fun activity your kids will love that can also make a difference.

The Idea: Trick-Or-Treat Donation Boxes

Whether you do this as a family, or round up a group of friends, this is an activity anyone will enjoy.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • Boxes – Shoe boxes, tissue boxes, gift boxes…
  • Wrapping – Wrapping paper, craft paper, etc.
  • Scissors – If you have young children, do all cutting for them or before they begin
  • Tape and/or glue
  • Newspapers, plastic table covers or tarps
  • Markers, paint and/or crayons
  • Accessories – Stickers, glitter, rhinestones…the sky’s the limit!
  • Snacks – For the adults and the kids

ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS

  • Have the kids dress up in their Halloween costumes to get into the spirit
  • Make a playlist of Halloween songs or put a kid-friendly Halloween movie on to set the mood

STEPS

Step 1: Wrap the box in paper. If the box has a lid, you can either wrap it separately, or wrap the entire box at once.


Step 2: Using scissors, box cutter or small knife, cut a slot into the top of the box where donations will go.

Step 3: Once boxes are wrapped and cutting is complete, get everything set out and ready for the kids to begin.

Halloween Craft Activity - Donation Boxes

Step 4: Watch the kids work their magic!

Halloween Kids Activity - DIY Donation Boxes

Step 5: Be on stand-by in case they need help with gluing!

Halloween Kids Activity - Donation Boxes

Step 6: Admire the masterpieces

DIY Donation Boxes - Halloween Craft Activity

Step 7: Congratulate them for being such Good Cookies!

Be a Good Cookie - Halloween Craft Activity

Want to Be a Good Cookie and get your kids involved this Halloween? If you would like more information or have any questions, email us – Making a difference is FUN and we make it EASY!

Ready to register your event? (collecting change while trick-or-treating counts!)

Register TODAY!

No Time to Wait: Government Shutdown & the Reality of Childhood Cancer

Filed under: blog,Good Cookies,Inspire — Tags: , , , , — The Good Cookies @ 2:35 pm October 15, 2013

As the shutdown further slows childhood cancer advancements, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer founder, Gretchen Holt-Witt speaks out:

As the Founder of a national pediatric cancer nonprofit, I didn’t really expect the current government shutdown to bring awareness to the cause I champion. But then, The Atlantic ran a story on October 1, heralding the “saddest paragraph of the government shutdown.”

Cookies for Kids' Cancer, Op-Ed Letter from Gretchen Holt-Witt on Government ShutdownThe article revealed that, due to the shutdown, 30 children per week scheduled for clinical trials (many of which have cancer) at the National Institutes of Health would not receive treatment. Why? Because the NIH is federally funded, and over 75% of its services are now closed due to the shutdown. So you’re saying that kids’ lives are hanging in the balance due to lack of government funds? Readers were irate – With blood boiling, they found this fact to be entirely unacceptable. But it wasn’t news to me.

Annually, less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget goes towards research for all childhood cancers combined, which happens to be the #1 disease killer of children in our country. Flip that stat around – over 96% of national funding goes towards adult cancers, leaving our nation’s future and most precious resource with not nearly enough funding for adequate innovation. So are we sitting around, boiling mad, waiting for the government to provide more funds for children? Not for one second.

In 2007, when our 2-year-old son Liam was diagnosed with stage IV cancer, our oncologist told us, “Kids with cancer don’t make headlines.”

That same day, the headlines were filled with news of White House Press Secretary Tony Snow’s cancer diagnosis. Mr. Snow made headlines because he had lived long enough to make a difference in the world. Tragically, children do not have the opportunity to make that impact when they are saddled with a cancer diagnosis. Hence, the lack of headlines featuring kids.

Soon after Liam’s diagnosis, my husband and I learned of a promising new therapy in development at the very same cancer center where Liam was receiving treatment. Only one problem: it needed funding to move from the research lab to the clinic where it would be administered to children. That was the moment we learned there is simply not enough funding from the government to move all research along. And so the cancer center – filled with some of the top oncologists in the world – was depending on individuals and small foundations to fill the gap to help make the potentially life-saving treatment available for children.

My husband and I could not stand by, waiting for government funding. We also refused to wait for others to raise the money. Instead, we started a foundation called Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Our simple mission: to inspire individuals to “Be a Good Cookie™” and raise funds for childhood cancer research.

In five short years, our grassroots supporters that hail from all 50 states and over 4,500 cities world-wide have rolled up their sleeves, raised funds, and ultimately helped fund more than three dozen research projects, with half a dozen now in clinical trials.

Our sense of urgency remains driven by the fact that in August of 2011, we learned that the same promising research in need of funding that sprung us to action was being moved into clinical trial. Our funding helped. It was a small victory in a huge battle. But the taste of success was bittersweet, as it came just 7 months after we lost our precious Liam to this cruel, relentless disease. The treatment that we worked for came to be – just a bit too late for him. We never want another family to feel our endless sense of loss combined with the aching knowledge of what might have been.

So back to those 30 children making headlines while we wait for the federal government . . . if writing a check from funds raised by supporters of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer would help, I would do it right now. As a matter of fact, we tried to cover the cost of treatments for those children. But it’s the federal government, so it’s not quite that simple.

While we cannot open the doors of the NIH for those children, we do not have to sit around and wait for our government to play nicely – like we encourage our children to do. Instead, we must take action. And we’re asking you to do what you can to get involved today. Because no matter what, our headline remains the same: BE A GOOD COOKIE.™

Gretchen Holt-Witt – Founder of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

Good Cookie Spotlight:
Marilyn Berney

Filed under: Bake Sale,blog,Good Cookies,Inspire — The Good Cookies @ 6:56 am October 1, 2013

Westfield, NJ Annual Bake Sale

For the 3rd year in a row, Marilyn Berney rallied her group of Good Cookies together to host their annual Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale in Westfield, NJ.

Held at the town’s “Fest-i-Fall”, this year the group was determined to raise more funds for pediatric cancer research than ever. And they succeeded, surpassing their own fundraising goal.

“We have seen an abundance of local community support.  If you stop for a minute and listen, everyone is unfortunately affected in some way by cancer,” says Marilyn.

If we each do a little, we achieve so much.”  From personal experience, she sees that many people want to help by more than writing a check. Hosting a community bake sale truly brings people together.

This year, dozens of dedicated volunteers baked, packaged goods, took turns working the booth and even secured 19 sponsors for the event! Baked goods of all kinds (you name it, they had it!) were donated by area bakeries and restaurants, including Bovella’s, Vacarro’s, Panera, Nordstrom Café, Carlo’s Bakery and Trader Joe’s. Other sponsors included, from Costco to Staples to Shop Rite, proved that nearly the entire town was on board to show their support.

And though the annual event is over, Marilyn and her Good Cookies are continuing to raise funds and awareness. Now through October 27, when they hold their “Westfield’s Girls’ Night Out” event, they’re selling paper cookies in exchange for donations. They’re even hosting an additional bake sale on the day of to bring in additional funds!

“On Sunday, I had the honor of meeting and working with so many people in the community who are dedicated to finding a cure to eradicate this disease….and we get to help in a very sweet way. I could not have pulled this event off (again) without the help of my husband, Mike, and some very “good cookies”: Amy Radick, Kerri Proper, Sasha Proper (age 8), Aiden Donahue (age 13), Marcia Lemberg, Carol Goggi, and Jackie Plant. Be sure that we THANK EACH PERSON who donated time, cookies and money to this cause from the bottom of our hearts.”

– Marilyn Berney