Guest post by Lydia Walshin, founder/director, Drop In & Decorate: Cookies for Donation
Kermit knew it all, and he wrote a book about it.
“One Frog Can Make a Difference” spelled out Kermit’s philosophy of life, and though the book parodied the self-help books of the 1990s, it also spoke more than a few truths about doing good.
When I speak to groups about Drop In & Decorate, the nationwide nonprofit cookies-for-donation program that grew from an aha! moment in my Rhode Island kitchen, I tell them I’m not green, not skinny, and not a TV star, but I try to channel a bit of Kermit every day.
And, maybe, a little bit of Cookie Monster, too.
In an increasingly complicated world, Drop In & Decorate remains a simple community service idea:
bake, decorate, and donate cookies to nonprofit agencies addressing the basic human needs of food or shelter, right in your own neighborhood.
There’s no fundraising, and no bake sale – just people in their home kitchens, community centers, faith groups, schools, and in the workplace, donating their time and creativity for others in need in their community.
Drop In & Decorate works year-round to bring small moments of joy to neighbors in circumstances most of us cannot imagine: living four to a bedroom in an emergency shelter; staying in a Ronald McDonald House to be near a child in the hospital; lining up at a soup kitchen for your only meal of the day. Cookies make people smile, and those smiles can help someone get through a tough day.
Deborah DeBare, executive director of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, explains:
"The cookies donated through Drop in & Decorate are so much more than delicious desserts. They represent a sense of community, of people who care for one another, and who are willing to reach out to families in need to let them know that they are not alone. When I have seen the women and children in our network of shelters receive these beautiful hand-made and packaged treats, their faces light up, even before they taste them, to see the care and love that went into each individual gift of hope."
If you’d told me ten years ago that Drop In & Decorate® events in 36 states and Canada would donate more than 32,000 cookies to more than 150 nonprofit agencies serving thousands of families and children, I wouldn’t have believed you.
You can help us do more. Throughout the year, we distribute coupons and gift cards for baking supplies, and we also send supplies to hosts. Our web site offers lots of how-to information, a host-your-own guide, as well as reports on events around the country. We lend a small supply of materials (cookie cutters, squeeze bottles) to hosts who agree to pay the return shipping costs.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
This year, we’d like to increase our direct support to events in two ways.
1. Donate more gift cards from stores that sell cookie decoration supplies. (Last year we purchased a limited number of Michael’s gift cards, so hosts could buy squeeze bottles, cookie cutters and food coloring for icing; it was a very popular incentive and a real help to first-time hosts.) A donation of $52 will buy 5 gift cards.
2. We’ve found a source for eco-friendly, compostable, food-safe cellophane bags, and we want to encourage our hosts to use them. As with many “green” products, they cost more than regular bags. A donation of $52 will buy 400 eco-friendly cookie bags.
Please donate through Network for Good (credit card)
or by check directly to:
DROP IN & DECORATE INC/ Attn: Lydia Walshin
21 Stone Dam Rd
N Scituate, RI 02857
You’ll find donation information and our address, on our web site, www.dropinanddecorate.org.
Kermit and Cookie Monster would love it.