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

The Difference You Make,
Good Cookies

Filed under: Donations,Good Cookies,Inspire — The Good Cookies @ 9:08 am September 19, 2013

When you support Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, you are truly making a difference in the fight against pediatric cancer. The funds raised by you and thousands of supporters are granted to five of the nation’s leading pediatric cancer centers to develop safer, more effective cancer treatments for children. The goal is to bring promising developments to trial as quickly as possible to help children TODAY.

Did you know there are 12 major types of pediatric cancer? Each is as unique as the child battling it. When it comes to federal funding, less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget goes to pediatric cancer, and these funds must be divided between them all, making it difficult to advance new treatments to clinical trial.

Some of the funds also now match the federal allowance per child enrolled in the Children’s Oncology Group’s Phase I & Pilot Consortium , consisting of 21 hospitals nationwide. More children now have access to treatments they otherwise would not have been able to receive.

THE POWER OF A GOOD COOKIE…

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer recently received a letter from Texas Children’s Cancer Center explaining what has been accomplished with grants provided thanks to Good Cookies like you. We’re humbled and inspired by this letter, just as we are by the efforts of all the Good Cookies nationwide. YOU have made this possible. Here are a few excerpts from the letter:

I want to thank you and Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for the wonderful support you have given…over the past three years. We have received $585,000 which has been used to support some of our most promising research projects. It is not hyperbole to state that your support has been transformational in its impact on improving therapies for childhood cancer. Children are being treated with therapies that wouldn’t have been developed if it wasn’t for the support they receive from “Cookies.” Your donors can always be confident that they are backing the most brilliant and innovative childhood cancer researchers in the nation.

Click here to read the full letter from Texas Children’s Cancer Center.

An Unbreakable Bond

Filed under: Good Cookies,Inspire — The Good Cookies @ 6:52 am September 9, 2013

This is a story of two families, two children with cancer, and ONE unbreakable friendship.

In April 2011, 13-year-old Zach was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. He went through 9 months of chemo and 3 major surgeries. During this time, he was unable to attend school and had to be taught at home. When he returned to school as an 8th grader, there were a few new students.

One of those students was Nick Pinney. Zach and Nick became fast friends, hung out in the same group, and ironically, they had one thing in common…Cancer. Nick’s 15-year-old sister Amanda was diagnosed with Stage 4 Rhabdomyosarcoma in January 2012. As Zach’s hair was growing back, hers was falling out.

Cookies for Kids' Cancer blog

There was an unspoken bond between Nick and Zach. Each knew what it really meant to be touched by childhood cancer, both in different ways, both struggling to make sense of it all.

Although Zach was done with treatment, he struggled most of 2012 with trying to get his mobility back. He has a metal implant for his left femur, total knee and tibia. There are few who can truly understand what all of the hospital stays, disappointments, fears, and the anxiety that scans cause during treatment, after treatment…forever really. Those who can truly sympathize are those who unfortunately belong to the Childhood Cancer Club.

Treatment for Amanda was aggressive and lengthy. In October 2012, a scan showed that her cancer was progressing. After suffering a seizure the day after Christmas, they learned the cancer has metastasized in her brain. After 16 rounds of chemo and 45 radiation treatments, including rounds to her brain and lung, Amanda lost her battle on May 18th…5 days before Zach and Nick’s 8th grade graduation.

Both families are bonded for life, and both have decided that it’s time for them to take on the FIGHT to find the Cure for ALL types of childhood cancers. Nick and Zach want to work to raise money for research and for Study Protocols, so that no child, sibling, parent or friend will have to face what Amanda, Zach and Nick have faced in their young lives.

To start, the boys, who attend a school where uniforms are required, have worked to get a dress-down day approved for the end of September. Students will make a $5 donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer in exchange for permission to dress-down that day. Nick and Zach are also encouraging their friends to purchase the ASICS limited edition gold sneakers to wear on the dress-down day. ASICS is donating up to $50,000 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer through sales of the special sneakers.

Learn more about how you can Be a Good Cookie. Ready to host your own local fundraising event? Sign up to host an event today!

A Good Cookie Mom’s Story

Filed under: About Cookies for Kids' Cancer,Good Cookies,Inspire — admin @ 12:41 pm September 8, 2013

My daughter Lucy was 3 years old when she was diagnosed with High Risk Neuroblastoma in 2009. She was a perfectly normal little girl, until that day. She endured multiple rounds of powerful cocktails of chemotherapy, a treatment that while hoping to give her life was also poisoning her. As a nurse, I would look at the IV bags as they slowly dripped and then flowed into my daughter’s body.

Good Cookie Mom Hillary's story

Good Cookie Hillary with her daughters Lucy (right) and Lily (left)

It was terrifying but there were no other options since decades-old chemo is still the standard of treatment for children battling cancer, the number one disease killer of children in the U.S. Lucy was one of more than 13,000 children diagnosed every year and was now part of the ranks of tens of thousands of children who are actively battling cancer on any given day in the U.S. To some she was a statistic, but to me she was and is everything. I’m not sure why, then, so little money and awareness is directed towards childhood cancer.

Lucy’s third round of chemo was vicious. It left her without the energy to hold her head up for more than a few minutes at a time. For more than 10 days after that week-long round of chemo ended, she was listless and just a shadow of her former self. It felt like a lifetime as I willed her back to the land of the living. It is a gut wrenching, out-of-body experience to watch your once full-of-life 3-year-old become a shell of her former self. Pale skin, sunken eyes, bald head, and the scars from incisions from surgeries and bone marrow aspirations… I shed a thousand tears when she wasn’t looking.

In the fog of treatment, I remember going to a grocery store during this time and noticing all the children who were out and about. They were riding their bikes, running, laughing and doing all the things that kids should be doing. All the things that Lucy and 13,000 other children should be doing. Kids should not be sitting in hospital rooms with poison pumping through their veins. Kids should not die from a disease that could be cured if we only addressed the problem by funding more research. Something like cancer doesn’t get better on its own. It doesn’t magically disappear. You have to work at it. Together.

After Lucy finished her 2.5 years of treatment, and made it through her first harrowing year of scans without cancer being detected in her body, I decided I needed to do something to try and make a difference. I wanted to raise awareness about how little money is directed towards pediatric cancer from the government and from drug companies. I wanted people to know that the disease classified as an “orphan disease” actually had faces and families behind it like Lucy’s. I wanted to raise money to help fund research that would hopefully save the children I knew who were still fighting this ugly and ruthless disease. I wanted to make all the angels proud knowing that they had inspired me and so many others into action. I wanted a cure.

I talked with fellow cancer parents about starting an organization called Lucy’s Light to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer. Many of them had been involved in different organizations already and had some good information for me. I received Gretchen Witt’s name from my friend Robin who I had met while our girls were in treatment together. She told me that Gretchen had started Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and would be willing to offer her guidance. I then talked with another friend, Carmen, who I met during our kids’ treatment. She told me something that made everything kind of click in my brain. She said that Gretchen had once said to her that we need to band together.

I'm a Good Cookie

When asked to draw a picture about herself, Lucy drew this picture, where she calls herself a Good Cookie.

Instead of having hundreds of different pediatric cancer foundations, we need to group the energy to make the biggest impact. And this totally made sense to me. The voices needed to come together so that they could be heard. I checked out the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer website and loved the fact that it was not about one cancer or one child. I loved hearing from Gretchen that they make every dollar count. It didn’t take long for me to decide that Lucy’s Light would team up with Cookies and donate all money raised to this amazing organization.

My first event was a Dodge Ball tournament. It was a lot of work, but nothing compared to the treatment Lucy had endured. Lucy and her light inspired me and kept me strong. And with her light guiding the way, we had an incredible tournament that far exceeded my expectations. We’re already planning the next tournament and as equally important, we have shined a light on the needs surrounding this awful disease that preys on children in our community.

When our children are born, we worry about so many things to make sure they are safe. Cancer is not something any parent should have to worry about or any child have to suffer through.

Hillary Waldeisen, Mom of Lucy, now 7, and showing no evidence of cancer
Founder of Lucy’s Light and Supporter of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

Learn more about how you can get involved and Be a Good Cookie. Want to host your own event? Register today!

“Team Good Cookies” Upcoming Events Preview

Filed under: About Cookies for Kids' Cancer,Donations,Team Good Cookies — admin @ 8:43 am July 31, 2013

We’re excited to introduce “Team Good Cookies,” where individuals and groups can raise funds for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer while training for a race or athletic event. We encourage everyone, whether planning an event, training for an event, or if you’ve been thinking about running a race, to use this opportunity to make a difference while you do. Click here to learn more about Team Good Cookies and how you can join!

Here’s a sneak preview of a few events coming up this fall in support of Team Good Cookies:

Event: Iron Force Athletics All Out Against Cancer

  • Location: Natick, MA (near Boston)
  • Date: Sept. 7, 2013
  • Time: 9 AM – 4 PM
  • Details: Stay tuned for more details!
  • Features: 5K & Hybrid Throwdown

Event: Plant City Good Cookie 5K

Event: The Perfect 10

  • Location: West Windsor, NJ
  • Date: Oct. 13, 2013
  • Details: No boys allowed – This one is for the ladies!
  • Features: 10 mile race, 5K, and 1-mile “Daughter Dash” (ages 5-13)

Event: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

  • Location: Indianapolis, IN
  • Date: Nov. 2, 2013
  • Details: Indiana’s largest & fastest marathon
  • Features: Boston Qualifying Monumental Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K,  and Kids’ Fun Run

Ask us how you can get a discount on the Indianapolis Marathon registration fee when running in support of Team Good Cookies!

September Sneak Peek

Filed under: Corporate Partnerships,Good Cookies,Inspire — admin @ 7:00 am July 30, 2013

In honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s 5th anniversary, we’ll be revealing special surprises and incentives throughout the month of September. And with the support of Good Cookies nationwide and a few of our corporate partners, we hope to make this September our best yet. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the events coming this September.

Corporate Partner Events

ASICS Limited Edition Sneaker

In September, ASICS is supporting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer with the release of a limited edition sneaker. Proceeds from the special pediatric cancer awareness shoe, available for both kids and adults, will be donated to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. The shoes will only be available through September, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to support pediatric cancer research with serious style. Stay tuned for more details.

OXO Annual Match

This September, OXO will launch its 3rd annual pledge to donate $100,000 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. One part of this generous gift will come through the offer  match funds raised at events throughout fall. In addition, OXO will release specially marked editions of 10 products, with proceeds from sales going to Cookies for Kids Cancer. Check back for more details on the annual OXO campaign.

King Arthur Flour Match

Beginning in September, King Arthur Flour will be matching funds raised at events this fall, up to $25,000. In addition, proceeds from sales of specially marked packages of flour will be donated to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Stay tuned for more details on these incentives and others, including the chance to be a King Arthur Flour Bake Sale Hero!

Good Cookie Events

Richmond, VA: Annual Citywide Bake Sale

The Good Cookies in Richmond, VA are back again for their 4th annual citywide bake sale! Residents in Richmond, from parents and students to transportation employees and businesses– have held three citywide events in the past three years, and have raised more than $150,000 for pediatric cancer research. On Sept. 7, the big day returns, and they’re anticipating their best event yet. Learn more about the Citywide Bake Sale.

Fort Mill, SC: 30 Days for a Cure

Dana Boutwell, Fort Mill’s Strawberry Queen, selected Cookies for Kids’ Cancer as her platform, and is planning multiple events throughout September.One exciting event will be on Sept. 2 at the Charlotte Knight’s game! Fans can expect to see the players wearing  yellow wristbands in honor of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. In addition, tickets for a special group of seats will be available for purchase, and a portion of proceeds will be donated to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Stay tuned for details.

The Kids Who Inspire Us to Fight

Filed under: Good Cookies,Inspire — admin @ 10:57 am July 17, 2013

Dear Good Cookies,

From our window on the world of pediatric cancer, the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer team PERSONALLY knows 4 children who lost their courageous battles with cancer this week. Beyond those 4 faces, there have been at least 65 other children who have lost their battle in the past 7 days.

As a matter of fact every single week day, 46 children are diagnosed with this cruel disease, totaling more than 13,000 children a year. To us, these are not simply numbers – these are beautiful individuals with all the promise the world has to offer.

We refuse to allow their stories to be simply sad, with potentially tragic endings. Their stories inspire us each day to do all we can to give hope to families facing this battle.

Click here to read the stories of just a few of the Kids Who Inspire Us. Then please consider taking action to make a difference.

Click here to learn more about how you can get involved.

Kick Summer Boredom

Filed under: Bake Sale,Good Cookies,Inspire,Uncategorized — admin @ 10:31 am July 9, 2013

While the first weeks of summer fly by with vacations, camps and days at the pool, there comes a point where activities to keep the kids entertained aren’t easy to find. But with these five ways to kick summer boredom, your family can keep busy and give back at the same time.

1. Switch Up the Menu

Summer is a great time to get creative with recipes, especially since colorful refreshing fruit like watermelon is in season.

The opportunities for summer treats are endless. Like these easy-to-make watermelon “cookies,” sure to be a hit at any bake sale. Get more summer recipe ideas by following Cookies for Kids’ Cancer on Pinterest.

Share your favorite summer event ideas with us on Twitter and Facebook too!

2. Bring in the Troops

Planning a Cookies for Kids’ Cancer fundraiser with a Girl Scout troop is a great way for the group to have fun, bond and get involved with the community.

Additionally, any Girl Scout troop that holds a bake sale or other fundraising event will receive special Cookies for Kids’ Cancer patches for their support.

Ask about getting a troop involved today!

3. Have a Car Wash

On a hot summer day, nothing feels better than splashing in the water. Next time you’re thinking about heading to the pool or turning on the sprinklers, hold a car wash instead.

Not only will the kids enjoy decorating signs and posters, but they’ll have fun in the water, all while raising much-needed funds for pediatric cancer research.

Sign up to host an event today!

4. Start a New Tradition

Follow the lead of these Good Cookies in the Hamptons, who just held their FOURTH annual 4th of July bake sale for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Independence Day may be over, but Labor Day will be here before you know it.

National Kids’ Day and Founders’ Day are in August as well. Think about some holidays or occasions coming up this summer and celebrate by starting a new Good Cookie tradition.

5. Involve Local Businesses

Good Cookies host events in all shapes and sizes, and no effort is too small to make a difference. If you find yourself with time to spare or could use something already planned to raise funds, take advantage of the opportunity.

Many businesses offer discounted prices for charity fundraisers, and will even donate items for your event. Organize a percentage night at a local burger hang-out or ice cream shop. Turn a birthday party at the bowling alley into fundraiser. Every dollar counts.

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