Annie Steinberg-Joachim is a children’s party planner and the founder of Blast Events NYC. As today’s guest blogger, Annie describes how she became involved with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and how she impacted her nephew’s school in New York City by hosting a bake sale. Look forward to more posts with event tips by Annie.
I first noticed Cookies for Kids’ Cancer on Facebook– my absolute favorite source to connect with my clients, new people and fabulous ideas across the country. A client had liked their site and I saw pictures of adorable girls with delicious cookies having a fantastic time. As a kids’ party planner, I was thrilled right away and clicked further for inspiration. That’s when I noticed it was a charity– and more than that, it was children supporting other children. I knew right away that I absolutely had to do one of these parties. No matter what, I was going to do a Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale.
It was just a week later that I found out my nephew’s school downtown, The Léman Manhattan Preparatory School, was eager to get more involved in the community. They were looking for an event planner who would help them give back, and I was beyond excited to bring Cookies for Cancer to their attention. They agreed it was a perfect match, and I went ahead and registered my event on this website. A few days later, I had a question and I emailed the general address. Almost instantly, I was overwhelmed with kind, helpful answers from multiple women in the organization who were so excited that I was involved and couldn’t wait to find out how they could help. Never have I worked with a team as involved and helpful as the Cookies Team. They helped guide the event and made it a smooth process.
Once I began planning, I learned more about the story behind Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. As it turned out, it was the illness of Gretchen Witt’s son that moved her to put this beautiful organization together. Her son, Liam would’ve been in my nephew’s very same class at Lèman Manhattan. They shared friends. I was so touched and inspired; I was driven to put together not just a bake sale, but a celebration. I was personally invested, and completely blew up my initial idea– involved a band (courtesy of sponsor Appleseeds!), arts & crafts, games, cookie decorating, balloon animals and more. In the middle of all the fun they were having, kids would come up to our tables and mention helping children just like them– even if they didn’t exactly understand how, they knew they were helping to make a difference. My team and I met a lot of “Good Cookies” that day– from Gretchen to mothers and classmates, new neighbors, and even a local restaurant, Bobby Van’s, surprised us with a giant tray of baked goods and didn’t ask for any recognition– they just wanted to help out. It turned into not just a bake sale, but an event for the community.
My favorite part wasn’t the money we raised, but something changed inside Blast Events NYC that afternoon too. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer helps open conversations between parents and children about doing good, and even about illness. We now feel strongly about suggesting parents ask birthday guests to donate to a cause in lieu of gifts– many parents feel their child has too much “stuff” anyway. I loved the warmth I experienced from the organization and from all who participated, and I can’t wait to do it all again! It feels good to be a Good Cookie…