Scrolling through Facebook one morning in April, middle school English teacher Jeremy Uhrich noticed something unusual: his friend Scott McKenzie showing off his homemade chocolate chip cookies.
“I work at a small college here in Huntingdon and I was furloughed back in April,” McKenzie, 58, said. “So instead of sitting around and feeling sorry for myself, I told myself I was going to learn something new every week.” He continues: “I never made cookies from scratch before, but I made them for the first time and they weren’t half bad! So like everybody in my generation, I had to brag about what I did on Facebook, and Jeremy here put up on Facebook that he had made cookies the same day and he bet his were better than mine.” Uhrich, 42, challenged his friend to a bake-off.
Scott said he would take the challenge but offered a suggestion; that they let some of the frontline heroes in their Huntington, PA community be the recipients and judges of the treats, as a thank-you for their help during the pandemic.
“We just wanted to let these people know that we care about you, we recognize you and we aren’t forgetting about what you’re doing,” Jeremy Said. “This is just our small way of saying thank you and showing gratitude for what you have been doing and continue to do throughout the pandemic.”
That is how the pair came up with the inspiration and created Cookies for Caregivers, a Facebook group where other residents could volunteer to make treats for first responders and business owners.
They have been busy too! Since April, more than 100 bakers have joined the group, baking and delivering more than 15,100 baked treats! From snickerdoodles, sugar cookies, cakes, and more; they have created the goods and delivered them to workers at local hospitals, grocery stores, fire departments and so on.
Each week the two who began the effort brainstorm which workers could use the sweet pick-me-up next. Sometimes group members make nominations of who they think is most deserving, then the group gets the commission and goes to work. Bakers drop the cookies off at Uhrich’s house, then he and Scott organize and deliver them to the businesses in large containers. This act of kindness and care is your Good News Story of the Day, find it in full here.
The response they have received is worth noting as well. “We’ve seen a lot of smiles and tears during deliveries, people are so appreciative,” Uhrich says. It is easy to forget that others around you are feeling the same stress, the same distant loss of community, that you may be. Doing something about it is just how we show love for each other.
McKenzie says they’re planning on continuing the effort for as long as they can. “There aren’t enough people to thank,” he says. “Kindness doesn’t have an expiration date.”
Story and Image from People.