Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bake Walk For No Kid Hungry - Update 1

Bake Walk for No Kid Hungry may not be for a few more months, but plans are well on their way and we even have a few early registrants! 

Bake Walk Overview:

From June 15th - June 17th, Cookie Central will be providing local area businesses with baskets of our homemade chocolate chip cookies, donation jars and marketing material - Free!  That's right, I said it.  Thanks to Gardner Graphics - Presenting Sponsor and BJ's Wholesale Club - Product Sponsor, we are able to offer event participation for the doughnut...heck we even set everything up for you.  I think it's safe to say this will be the easiest, most cost efficient (ha ha) way to get involved with our Great America Bake Sale campaign.

Our Awesome Presenting Sponsor

Participating Business Requirements:  
We ask that all businesses that would like to participate in our bake walk fill out the Bake Walk Participation Form and provide us with a small table or counter space for the cookies and donation jar.  Cookies are free with a $1.00 donation, or $1.00 that will be donated if you prefer.  100% of the funds raised will be donated! On June 18th (the day after the event) we come collect any remaining cookies, all our materials and the donations - obviously.

All the information you need about the event can also be found by clicking the Bake Walk tab above.

PERKS:  How Can We Not Have Perks, Right?                                                      

We will be including all participating businesses in the "Wonderful Businesses Involved For 2012" Link list located in the left side bar of our blog.  We will also be including mention of all participants registered before May 10th in our Mid-May press release for Bake Walk.

Dessert Party:
We will be providing a dessert party platter to the business that raises the most money!  Assorted cookies, brownies, bars and cupcakes will be delivered right to your business for you and your crew to enjoy, so educate your staff and encourage everyone to get involved.  That said, we also welcome businesses to offer additional in house specials in conjunction with the event. to help raise even more.

The Bake Walk Interactive Map: A great and easy way for people to see whose involved and where they are!  Each participating business will be included on the map.  For those businesses who check that pretty little "Yes" box next to "Are you willing to purchase any remaining cookies", we will also include a picture of your logo with a link back to your website and a brief business description.  This map is public to Google searches and will be published on our main site as well as the Bake Walk landing page shortly.

Click the blue push pins to see the logo and description of the business.

View Bake Walk For No Kid Hungry in a larger map

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Taste the Difference at the Nation's Premier Culinary Benefit

I love to eat, but it's not just about the food.  It's about the company kept, the conversations had and the memories made while sitting down to a meal.  Sitting down with my own children, reminds me of when I was young.  My mother frying chicken on the stove top, NPR playing in the background, the smell of the white rice cooking at every meal.  We were - we are - fortunate.  Sure there were, and are still, plenty of nights full of fighting children, burned vegetables and absent family members.  But as I look back I realize, the majority of my fondest memories revolve around the meals I've shared with the people I love.

A Nation of Food
If you can picture yourself in a room filled with tables of food prepared by the greatest restaurants in your area then congratulations, you have officially made it to Taste of the Nation.  This culinary benefit to support Share Our Strength's efforts to end childhood hunger in America began back in 1988 as most things do, with a small group of restaurants (25 to be exact) coming together to share their love of food and wine in the hopes of making a difference.  A difference they made, raising nearly $250,000 in a single day!  Taste of the Nation has since raised more than $75million and has blossomed into a nationwide movement with nearly 40 events scheduled to be hosted across the country (even one in Canada!). 

Share The Love
My first experience with Taste of the Nation was one of glorious overindulgence (as was my second and soon to be third).  I found myself eating things I never thought I would, things I never knew existed and things that I just couldn't help but go back for seconds, thirds, fourths, fifths (yeah, I'm talking about you Wit & Wisdom).  I implore anyone who loves food, GO!  Get a couple of friends, go on your own, rent a party bus and bring everyone....but go. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Kids For No Kid Hungry

*Sharing Your Strength* is not just for adults  

Cookie Central's Great American Bake Sale is creeping up on it's 4th year and I would like to take a moment to highlight two of the most important people in our campaign - my little girls Jazmin (10) and Mia (5).  From the very first bake sale they have been such a driving force.  From lemonade stands to mini flash mobs, these girls have not only taken part but motivated their friends to help as well.  It's a true testament to how well even the youngest child can understand the hardships hungry children face each day.  

It's Not Just My Kids!
Growing numbers of children and young adults are eager to help in the fight against childhood hunger in America.  And now, with the help of  Sodexo FoundationShare Our Strength has released No Kid Hungry 2 and has embraced Share Our Strength's mission to end childhood hunger offering a one stop site full of resources, ideas and inspiration for any young person to make a difference.
This portion of the No Kid Hungry 2 website is all about fun easy ways for the elementary school aged child to get involved. Find tool kits on how to collect Coins for Kids, sell Share Our Strength donation pin ups, host a bake sale (my favorite) and so much more.
This portion of the No Kid Hungry 2 site is perfect for teens, providing tools to build momentum online using Facebook and Twitter as well as great fundraising/awareness raising ideas like The Food Stamp Challenge and (another favorite of mine) The Flash Mob.

Just like it sounds!  Resources and ideas to help us big people inspire, motivate and educate all those little people.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Gearing Up For 2012

After a very busy holiday season, we at Cookie Central are back at it preparing for our 4th Annual Great American Bake Sale Campaign.  While we are just in the beginning stages of planning, we welcome you to take a look at where our season is headed below and comment with any suggestions or feedback you may have. 

As Always, Thanks For Reading! ~ Michele :)


In and Around Town: 

We are spreading out a bake sale over the course of a weekend and enlisting the help of area businesses!  This event will be cost-free for the businesses involved, and as easy as putting a basket of cookies or brownies on a counter.  We will be providing a Bake Walk Map marking all the businesses involved which will be accessible right here on our blog as well as our main site and Facebook page.  To sweeten the pot, we will be providing a pizza party to the business who raises the most money.    
We are hashing out the details for the event now, but welcome anyone interested in participating contact us at anytime.


We have always wanted to host an event just for kids and what better way to get little hands involved then to host a Great American Putt Putt!  Get ready for a fun filled day of face painting, ventriloquism, and putting for No Kid Hungry.  We will have a bake table full of fun sweets and treats and, provided we get clearance from the health department, cookie and/or cupcake decorating as well.  We will be focusing quite a bit on the new No Kid Hungry 2 site, spreading the word that you are never to young to make a difference!  
We will be looking for volunteers to help run the various stations, as well as local Mothers Groups that would be willing to help promote the event.

As a prequel to Great American Golf Tournament, we will be hosting a low-key Glow Ball Tournament.  Not being a golfer, I was shocked at the early response we got for golfing at night, but since we already have a few confirmations we're going to roll with it!  Early evening cocktails and appetizers will be followed by a nine hole glow ball tournament and finished with cocktails and entertainment.  Separate tickets will be available for those who want to enjoy just the cocktail reception and show.

Also Welcoming Back:
North Andover's Craft and Sheep Shearing Festival
North Andover's 4th of July Celebrations
Great American Golf Tournament
Online Promotions:

We are expanding on Dollar Days and Cookies With Care and are planning on teetering back and forth between the two for the duration of the season.  That said, we will revisit the original Cookies With Care benefiting the residence of Lazarus House Ministries Capernaum Place.  We also want to open up a second Cookies With Care to incorporate an additional local hunger relief organization, and will be on the hunt for organizations willing to participate.  As for the incredibly successful Dollar Days, we are hoping to add an additional online raffle to our schedule.  We are also planning a spin off of our previously held Donate and Save called Gifting For Hunger...stay tuned for details!