by Katie Pearce
The pungent smell in this place was different than anything I’d ever experienced, and although I was starting to get used to it, I still had to resist the urge to cover my nose. I watched the group of young boys in the muddy, unpaved street use a Coke can as a soccer ball as I slipped into the back seat of the RAV4 SUV that we had spent so much time in this past week. I was ready to go home, but I knew that I would be changed forever by the things I’d experienced in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. The orphans I had met would always have a place in my heart. The men and women who had dedicated their lives to helping these children would forever have a place of honor in my mind. The sights and smells and sounds of poverty would urge me forward in my efforts.
This was where our foster daughter had spent a large portion of her time after fleeing the Democratic Republic of Congo. Before she boarded the plane on Christmas eve several years ago, very sick and pregnant, she lived in a dilapidated, corrugated tin house, just like the ones that passed through my view as we drove away from the slums. I felt relief that she and her sweet little baby were now safe in the United States going to school, learning, and working, never to smell this scent again.
We stopped at an intersection and a big bus rolled up beside us. I looked up from my backseat window and saw a little face in one of its windows. I could only see her big, dark-brown eyes peering through the glass, but they looked sad and empty. I gave her the biggest smile I could muster and tried to say in my smile that she was beautiful and that even in this hard place, there was hope and somehow, everything would be alright. I wished I could feel confident that it was true. My smile caught her eye and as the bus rolled away, I saw her eyes turn up, and I hoped that she was smiling back.
My smile didn’t change anything for that little girl’s future, but a chance for education can. Every child we met in Nairobi had a dream. A dream to become a teacher, a pilot, a nurse. They all knew that education was the key to realizing these aspirations, but many were too keenly aware that this kind of education is out of their grasp and will never be a part of their life journey. There are millions of children around the world that share their despair. I desperately wanted to find a way to give them a chance to achieve their aspirations. How could I help young people find a path to succeed? How could I turn the resources and abilities I’ve been given into hope for others? After reflecting on these questions, the idea of The Giving Cookie was born.
The Giving Cookie is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that brings hope to children by funding schools in impoverished areas. But don’t be fooled by our nonprofit status or our humble beginnings. We have some seriously delicious cookies!
We are currently focusing all our efforts into building a school in Mali, one of the poorest countries in the world. Our goal is to raise $50,000 in the next three years. That’s a lot of cookies!
Mother Teresa once said, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” At The Giving Cookie we understand that what we do is just a drop, but by joining together as a community, our individual drops can combine to make a difference. We are all volunteers- no one is being paid. Every cent that isn’t spent for the ingredients in the cookies that we deliver goes directly into our school fund. We are so eager to bring hope through education to these children that need it so desperately.
We “cookie” to bring hope and to shape a brighter future. We’d love to have you combine your drop with ours and help us make a difference.
READY FOR COOKIES?
Here’s how it works:
- Go to www.thegivingcookie.com and check out our amazing cookie boxes and find out when we’ll be delivering to your area.
- Place an order that corresponds with the delivery date in your city.
- On cookie day, the cookies are made fresh and delivered right to your front porch!
Each season offers a new variety box with mouthwatering gourmet cookies. Or keep it simple with Kate’s Chocolate Chipper box! Our cookies are shareable sized, so the whole family can enjoy. They make beautiful gifts for friends and family in your area!
If you don’t like cookies (heaven help you) or would just like to donate to help us reach our goal to build a school in Mali, it is easy to donate on our website: www.thegivingcookie.com/donate
Let’s combine our “drops”! Making a difference never tasted so good.