Baby, it’s cold outside!

Filed under: Bake Sale — Tags: , , — admin @ 9:41 am January 12, 2009

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!

Epiphany

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — admin @ 7:52 pm January 8, 2009

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.

Bake Sale Backlog

Filed under: Bake Sale — Tags: , — admin @ 8:37 pm November 26, 2008

There are so many bake sale stories to tell, I need more than a few cookies to get through them. I need an uninterrupted, non-stop, bake-sale-blog-a-thon, complete with coffee and quiet, as well as cookies.

Rather than camping out on Thursday night/ Friday morning to get the best deals available on Black Friday 2008, I think I’m going to get up early, order some cookies from the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer cookie sale going on now and write up as many of the amazing, inspiring, wonderful bake sale tales as my hands can stand. Tonight, though, I’ll simply feature one AMAZING Cookie who took Gretchen’s birthday wish and made it her new life mantra: bake sale, bake sale, bake sale.

Meet Jennifer Fish of San Francisco, California. Jennifer is a more than a fan of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sales. She’s the poster cookie for the vision of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Since August, Jennifer has held three bake sales and is currently in the midst of a fourth Cookies endeavor. Here’s a quick rundown of how Jennifer has made Cookies a part of her everyday life.

1. Gretchen’s birthday wish became Jennifer’s birthday party – Jennifer began her bake sale odyssey moments after Gretchen announced her birthday wish for 100 readers of Prince Liam’s blog to host bake sales. She started with an email to all her friends with the subject, “This is very presumptuous but IF anyone wants to know what I want for my birthday I want cookies. I’m serious.” In the email announcement, Jennifer went on to say, “I would love to have a bunch of cookies to sell at various events between now and the end of the year.  So . . . if you are in the baking/philanthropic mood, I’d so appreciate any number of any kind of cookie or any baked goods you think I could sell.  Frankly, I don’t care if you bake them.  If you want to buy your favorite cookies that’s fine, too.  Don’t worry about packaging. I now own 2,000 lovely cellophane bags and tissue and am working on the gift tags. I simply want to help Gretchen raise money so other kids do not have to go through the hell Liam is going through.” With 5 minutes of prep time, Jennifer raised $150 that was then matched by her company’s match program. Tips: believe bake sale proceeds can make a difference and be willing to ask for donations.

2. Mitzvah Day is a way to get kids involved – After the success of her birthday bake sale, Jennifer then decided to organize a Temple bake sale as part of Mitzvah Day, which every Temple has. Mitzvah Day makes it easy to get the kids and the congregation involved with baking or selling. Jennifer’s sale tale has a special twist. . .after striking up a conversation about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer on a business flight, Jennifer enlisted Beth Jordan of Clif Bars to be in the Cookies army. Beth was immediately interested in supporting the cause and getting her company involved. Thanks to Beth, 600+ Clif Bars were donated to the Mitzvah Day sale. Tips: make Cookies a part of your life. Talk about it wherever you go. You never know when another good cookie is just waiting for the opportunity to help.

3. Election Day. . .remember our grassroots drive to get 50 sales in 50 states on Election Day? Even though Jennifer already hosted TWO Cookies For Kids’ Cancer bake sales prior to November 4th, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give it another go on Election Day. Her plan: in addition to baked goods, she and co-workers sold ‘recycled’ leftover Halloween candy.  They packaged it by color–red candy and blue candy.  Tips: If one bake sale is good, three must be better!

The latest news from Jennifer . . . she’s only just begun to spread the word about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Jennifer and a team of volunteers, including Fraya Berg who flew out from NYC to help her, just last week baked 100 lbs of biscotti to send to clients as holiday gifts and included info about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

You might be waiting for the right moment, the right event, the right timing to have a bake sale. Our message to you – stop waiting. Hosting a bake sale is simply the right thing to do, whether you raise $10 or $1,000. Your bake sale will spread the word to everyone around you about the immediate and desperate need for pediatric cancer funding. And if you cannot host a bake sale, simply click on “Buy Cookies” right now to purchase a dozen or more gourmet cookies from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

If everyone does a little, together we will do a lot.

Filed under: Bake Sale — Tags: , — admin @ 9:29 pm October 23, 2008

Larry, Prince Liam, Princess Ella, and Gretchen

Larry, Prince Liam, Princess Ella, and Gretchen

You need more than yummy pastries to raise $2200 in an hour and a half. You need some good cookies. The Linens-N-Things headquarters in Passaic, NJ, is filled with many good cookies, including bake sale organizer Marcia Lemberg, VP for Merchandising.

 

When you talk to Marcia about the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale held recently at the LNT offices, you realize passion was a key ingredient to success. Marcia has known Liam’s family for years and follows Liam’s progress through the Prince Liam the Brave blog. When Gretchen made her birthday wish of 100 bake sales known, Marcia got busy making Gretchen’s wish come true.

She started with a simple email to the LNT staff, explaining Liam’s battle, the facts of pediatric cancer and the goal in mind. She emphasized Gretchen’s belief that if everyone does a little, together we will do a lot. When Marcia asked for support, more than 70 employees in the office committed to contribute. By the day of the bake sale, Marcia had organized sign-up sheets, a 50/50 raffle, a drawing for more than a dozen fabulous Linens-n-things door prizes and a beautiful display of tablecloth-covered buffets for the goodies.

Just a few of the many bake sale stories of generosity:

·         Donated items were more than just store-bought treats. Most of the items sold were home made by employees, including blueberry scones, hand-dipped chocolate pretzels and caramel apples, plus whole pies and cakes.

·         Every member of the executive committee came down to the bake sale and made a donation.

·         One of the MIS department leaders bought 100 cupcakes for his staff.

·         Another employee bought enough cupcakes to feed her 4th-grader’s class after their puppet show.

·         A donation jar raised more than $200, just from people who wanted to give.

·         The winner of the 50/50 raffle gave the $105 in winnings back to the cause.

·         At any given time, more than 100 employees were shopping for treats. EVERY SINGLE ITEM sold.

Marcia’s take-away from the event was pride in her colleagues. She said the bake sale and the cause puts life in perspective. She also has some great tips for future bake sale hosts:

1.    Be a hands-on organizer. Create a sign-up sheet for volunteers to track what people are bringing. Follow-up with each person a week before the event to discuss packaging, pricing and signs.

2.    Wrap all items. Customers like to grab and go.

3.    Provide shopping bags. Customers can collect several small items more easily.

4.    Encourage bakers to bring their items arranged in pretty baskets.

5.    Non-bakers are welcome! Remind eager volunteers to ask local bakeries for their support.

6.    Diversify. Marcia also encouraged co-workers to consider selling their used books at www.cash4books.net. The website buys your books and pays for shipping, enabling sellers to both de-clutter and raise Cookies for Kids’ Cancer money.

If everyone who hears about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer held a bake sale, together we will change the facts of pediatric cancer for the better, forever.