Pat, an AllRecipes.com All Star, shares her Cookies Across America story.
Ladies and gentlemen… Start your engines and join the Cookies Across America tour!
My freezer is filling up with freshly-baked cookies for this year’s Cookies Across America campaign. I’ll be out of town for two weeks this month, so if this is going to happen prior to Christmas, I need to get knee-deep in butter, sugar, and flour. And a look at my kitchen is a testimonial that it’s starting to happen.
My first tray of cookies will go next door. My neighbor, Karen, very recently lost her courageous five-year battle with ovarian cancer at age 57. She leaves behind her husband, son, daughter and one grandchild. Seems like only yesterday, she was calling out my name to come over, she wanted to show me her new kitchen. Two weeks later, she was gone, and this will be her family’s first Holiday season without her. I’m hoping some home made cookies will bring a little cheer into their house and let them know that they’re in our thoughts.
I’ve talked with the manager of in-kind donations at Metropolitan Ministries about the campaign, and she’s very excited that I’ve decided to include them. I was watching 60 Minutes on Sunday evening, and they did a segment on the homeless in the U.S, more specifically families living in cars and trucks. One of the families featured was in Florida, and they mentioned that one-third of all the homeless people in the U.S. live in Florida. That statistic stunned me.
Metropolitan Ministries is a non-profit organization that serves the poor and homeless men, women, and children in the Tampa Bay area. They provide transitional housing with supportive services of counseling, food and nutrition, education and literacy, children services, recovery and sobriety, employment services, community living and pastoral care. On a daily basis throughout the year, they feed 1,700 people and provide Holiday food boxes to 30,000 families. Since inception in 1972, Metropolitan Ministries has served 23 million hot meals. This organization won “Best Non-Profit” in the recent “Best of the Bay 2011” Poll where nearly 300,000 readers participated. Without a doubt, an incredible organization which we have supported for many years.
During the Holiday season, they have many volunteers providing help in the kitchens, in the dining halls, as well as receiving and organizing food donations for the gift food boxes. The Donations Manager asked me how I felt about donating cookies to the volunteers. They are such an important link to making things flow smoothly, so I’m thrilled that in a small way I can say “thank you” to them this year. I then went to the Dollar Store, bought about 150 decorative little gift bags, and the plan is to fill each bag with three cookies and tie it up with a ribbon.
And there will be two more platters of cookies delivered. One will go to our local fire department and the other to our mechanic. Yes, that’s right, our mechanic who has taken care of our cars for 25 years. I’m recently retired from a sales career which involved logging many miles on the car. Never had a breakdown when I was on the road, and I know that to a large extent that’s because of this very conscientious mechanic. May sound a little silly, but he’s getting cookies, too!
I have some personal recipes that I’ll be preparing, but below are some photos of what I’ve baked to date from the Allrecipes site, mostly double batches. I’ll be home for about four days between trips this month, so the cookies that cannot be frozen will be prepared then. The Metropolitan Ministries cookie bags will be delivered on December 22, and the trays will be delivered on December 23rd.
Recent times have been tough for many people. I live in a state that still has out-of-sight unemployment rates and foreclosures with no relief in sight in the short term. Many of the folks who are in need of help this year are the same people who were providing help just a few years ago.
So won’t you join me in the Cookies Across America campaign and bring a little joy to those who are in need or maybe just a “Thank You” to somebody who has helped you in the past. Baking and sharing cookies is a small way for you to show that you care. And you know what? I bet you’ll feel really good about it!
I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position), and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from advertisers are only used for experienced-based reviews. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of lutzflcat.
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