The Designers Corner writers’ schedule had a hole it in this week, so I picked the short straw and am writing the post for the last issue of 2014. I thought this would be a good time to share a page from my diary.
In October 2005, I was asked to design a kitchen as a gift for the sister of a client. At our first meeting she said she couldn’t have her kitchen remodeled until after the holidays because she baked 1,000 cookies for the troops every year, and along with handwritten notes, sent them to a list of names she was given through an organization. I looked at her little 30” single oven and asked how long it would take her to complete the task. She said it would take several weeks in addition to her friends baking in their own kitchens.
It was a no-brainer to turn this into an event by using an appliance showroom with several working ovens. The cookies were done in 8 hours with the help of volunteers and my organizational skills. They all had so much fun and asked if they could do it for Easter 2006, and then again for Christmas 2006. We increased the count to 3,000 cookies and more handwritten notes for Christmas.
I had a brainstorm in May, 2007, and thought it would be nice to send more cookies to more troops. CookieCommand.org was born. It was used as a clearing house for the bakers to register for the event. I also blogged on this site to let everyone know how the project was progressing.
After talking, begging, explaining and organizing during every waking moment I had, the project came to life with the help of many people. 175 volunteer bakers were allocated to 17 locations in various parts of the state. A company from Chicago donated 36,000 pre-formed, frozen cookies in 6 flavors which were delivered to all the baking locations, and then had to be picked up, stored in a warehouse, packed with 40,000 handwritten notes, and shipped out before Christmas.
Each baker was given a shirt to wear during baking day and a complimentary lunch from a local restaurant. Thousands of dollars were donated and sent to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.
CookieCommand.org displayed pictures of the actual baking day and continued on line to share all the thank you notes from the troops. The task was complete. 36,000 cookies were baked in 4.5 hours.
I can’t say enough about all the volunteers, the companies and cooking schools who donated their facilities and the people who donated what they could to help this project be a success.
Christmas 2007 is definitely one of the more memorable holidays in my life.
Nancy Hugo CKD is the founder & editor of DesignersCircleHQ.com, an online magazine for the Arizona Design Community. She is also a Certified Kitchen Designer, podcaster, party planner, networker, teacher, wife & mother.Let’s add internet radio co-host of Kitchen Design Divas, airing live Friday, 11am starting January 9, 2015.
In her spare time she enjoys photography, cooking, traveling and meeting new people. Want to know more? Go to NancyHugo.com