Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday Cookies for the Homeless 2013

For most people, the sight and smell of homemade cookies baking in an oven is a holiday tradition. However, there are homeless individuals and families who cannot join in this baking ritual.

I was surprised to find out that in my own county there are 472 homeless children (according to the Community Foundation of Howard County). This is a huge number considering that we are one of the wealthiest counties in the nation.

For the past three years, Charles and I have participated in an event called Holiday Cookies for the Homeless. Lisa Jablonover started the program to collect homemade cookies and donate the sweets to the Day Resource Center, where the cookies are distributed to those less fortunate.

Sorting the cookies into small packages
2011 was the first year we participated in the holiday program when Charles and I baked cream cheese cookies (click here to read our blog post).  The did a story about our contributions to the program here.

Last year, we organized a cookie drive by seeking the help of clubs in our high school to make a much bigger cookie donation. (read our blog post here).

Counting the cookie donations
This year, Charles and I organized the holiday cookie food drive again. Since my brother and I run our school's Italian club, we asked our club and other clubs to bake homemade cookies for the fundraiser.

                                    By the end of the day, students in the National Honor Society, Horizon, Best Buddies, Salvation Army and Red Cross and Italian clubs made over 800 homemade cookies. Combined with Lisa Jablonover's bakers, in total almost 2,000 holiday cookies were donated to the Day Resource Center and Grassroots Homeless Shelter.

Some of the Italian Club members after counting and sorting the 2013 holiday cookies
We look forward to participating in this program every year. While baking cookies seems like an ordinary thing to do -- it is very special to those who don't own a home to cook in.

Thanks to Lisa Jablonover for starting this program.  And a shout out to our Grandma Alberta who told us about it. We're definitely doing it again next year. 

- Thomas