Cookie Exchange For Angel Tree Packages

The holidays are fast approaching and I wanted to share a cookie "exchange" idea we used at our church last year.

Our angel tree provides gifts and food care packages for needy families in our community. (names are provided by the Red Cross and other similar agencies). Christmas care packages require home-made cookies, in my opinion.

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A few weeks before your delivery date

  • Solicit used and new cookie tins. Sort, wash and discard tins as necessary.
  • Post flyers asking for a donation of ONE or more DOZEN home made cookies form each family (bring on a paper plate or other throw away) A normal size tin will hold about 3 dozen cookies; so determine the number of cookies bakes on the number of care packages you need to create
  • Create index cards for each family that will receive a box of cookies (Smith family of 7, for example) and place in the appropriate size tin.
  • Purchase a few bags for individually wrapped chocolates, candy canes and some curling ribbon.

On the day you plan to pack the cookies

  • Secure a location to place baked goods. It works well to place similar cookies together (peanut butter, chocolate chip, etc)
  • As your cookie PACKERS arrive, hand them a cookie tin and have them place an assortment of cookies in the tin.
  • Toss in a few chocolate kisses or mini bars
  • Tie with curling ribbon and a candy cane.
  • Eat leftover broken remains of cookies as everyone knows these have no calories
  • Deliver care packages to your needy families and smile knowing they are enjoying home-made cookies with their Holiday dinner and perhaps are even leaving one for Santa!

Last year, we prepared 17 care packages, received 50 dozen cookies which equal about 82,800 calories.

Source: Years of Angel Tree experience

By Diana from Prospect, KY

September 19, 20080 found this helpful

What a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing it, I bet the cookies brought many smiles to needy families.

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September 20, 20080 found this helpful

I'd LOVE to do something like that but around here not many places will except handmade items!!! I hate that cause my son who is in headstart I can even make stuff for his class it has to be store bought for his birthday or any holiday parties!!! I couldnt wait for him to get into school so I could bake things for his classes now I find out I still can't. It is nice that you live in a place where you can do something like that who wants store bought cookies when they can have handmade!

God Bless you!

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September 21, 20080 found this helpful

CraftyMommy is right. Homemade items are nice, but most charities and other organizations will not accept home-made goodies (including the Red Cross Angel Tree program). There are too many legal reasons for them to risk such donations. Cleanliness of the kitchen where items are prepared could cause a foodborne illness. Allergic reactions to ingredients in the recipes could sicken or even KILL someone. (Those with peanut allergies can become ill/die even from eating a cookie that shared a paper plate or cookie tin with an item that contained peanuts.) And as sad as it is to say, there are some sick individuals who would purposely taint foods to be consumed by others.

For donations for Red Cross and other agencies, include goodies that are store-bought in their original UNOPENED containers. I'd hate for agencies that are helping the less fortunate to have to stop accepting ALL food donations (or even worse, be sued) because of some unfortunate food borne illness or allergic reaction. Save those home-baked treats for family and neighbors! Otherwise, according to the rules released with our local Angel Tree adoption instructions, the agency will THROW AWAY any home-made cookies or treats before the packages are picked up by the Angel Tree families. I hate to say it but my guess is that all of those love-filled cookie tins are in a dumpster somewhere. Sorry...

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September 22, 20080 found this helpful

Hi, Just deliver them to needy families that you know of through the church. Loretta

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