Our Secret Ingredient: You

Our Secret Ingredient: You

2020 certainly was not the year we thought it was going to be. 

Since the beginning, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is an organization built on the belief that anyone anywhere can be a “Good Cookie” and make a difference in the lives of children battling childhood cancer. We started with what we thought was a one-time project to bake and sell 96,000 cookies. Today, we are an organization that has granted $17+ million through the efforts of more than 13,000 grassroots events in all 50 states, major events like Chefs for Kids’ Cancer, generous donors, committed corporate partners and yes, cookie sales.

We were poised for an exciting year and had big plans for 2020. We were hours away from welcoming the first guests to the 7th annual Chefs for Kids’ Cancer gala in NYC when Covid made it clear we needed to postpone. As hard as that decision was, it was the right thing to do. 

The question quickly became how does a community-based organization raise money in an era of social distancing and quarantines. 

Immediately, we focused our efforts on cookie sales as people looked for comfort and connection in any form with the introduction of Cookies that Care and Cookies to Share, new offerings of individually wrapped cookies. 

In the summer, we launched a virtual fundraising program called The Cookie Chain inspired by 6-year-old Arthur who is successfully battling a brain tumor thanks to cutting edge research. And other community organizers created new ways to get involved from virtual runs and t-shirt sales, to mask and mask chain making fundraisers. At the end of a year marked by what was lost, we grew our grassroots events by more than 35%! 

It has been a year. Certainly not the year anyone could have anticipated but it also reminds me of what happens to a family after a child is diagnosed with cancer. You adapt, figure out a new path, and move forward. You have to for the safety of your child and we had to, for the sake of all children. While it has been years since a doctor told me my sweet 2 ½ year old son Liam had cancer, it’s still a shock to me. It’s still a shock that cancer is the number one disease killer of children under the age of 18 in the U.S. and that the cancers children get are completely different than the cancers adults get. 

Because of dedicated donors like you, we were able to grant nearly $900,000 in 2020 and match federal government funding for every child enrolled in the Children’s Oncology Group Pediatric Early Phase – Clinical Trial Network. Research doesn’t move forward without funding and funding doesn’t happen without one crucial ingredient: you. In a year where everything seemed upside down, we are so grateful for your support. Thank you.

Gretchen