This Facebook Group Has Baked 12,000+ Cookies for Essential Workers

Cookies for Caregivers delivers love and fresh-baked treats to hometown heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jeremy Uhrich and Scott McKenzie didn’t realize how powerful a dozen cookies could be. That is, until they began to personally deliver their home-baked goodies to essential workers in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. The mission started with a little wager between the two friends.

Two Guys Started Baking

When the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown began, Jeremy, a basketball coach, teacher and camp director, decided to start baking with his kids, Finley and Maddix.

Scott, a former soccer coach, had been furloughed from his position as associate athletic director at Juniata College. To make the most of his time at home, he aimed to try to do something new every day. First up? Making chocolate chip cookies from scratch.

When a photo of Scott’s baking adventure hit Facebook, Jeremy’s competitive spirit kicked in. “I said, ‘I bet my cookies are better than yours,’” Jeremy recalls.

With the challenge on the table, it was “game on” for the coaches.

More Bakers Joined In

Scott and Jeremy deliver dozens of cookies to front-line workers each week.Courtesy Jeremy Uhrich and Scott McKenzie

Jeremy and Scott asked high school basketball player Rachel Kyle to join them, and recruited Huntingdon Mayor David Wessels to judge the baking contest. The mayor livestreamed the judging on Facebook, with Rachel taking top honors. After the contest, Rachel, Scott and Jeremy took their remaining cookies to the Huntingdon Police Department as a tasty thank-you for first responders. “Then a light bulb went off,” says Scott, “and we realized we could do this every week.”

So Scott created a “Cookies for Caregivers” Facebook page to invite the community to help bake thank-you cookies for those on the front lines of the pandemic. By the end of the first day, more than 100 people had joined the group.

How Cookies for Caregivers Works

It wasn’t long before they had enough volunteers to make cookie deliveries for several months. The bakers drop off their cookies, along with a recipe, to Jeremy, who sorts and delivers them. The local hospital gets Cookies for Caregivers every week. Other recipients include firefighters, postal workers, veterinarians, doctors’ offices and pharmacists.

Since that first batch, Jeremy and Scott and their team of 200-plus bakers have presented more than 1,000 dozen cookies and treats to hometown heroes. “A few people have been moved to tears,” Scott says. “These people had felt invisible and when you shine a light of gratitude on someone and they feel valued, sometimes you get that reaction.

“That’s what this entire thing is about, bringing a little happiness in a time of despair,” he adds, “and if a cookie or treat can do that, we’ll continue to have people bake and we’ll be the delivery boys.”

Bake Cookies for Your Local Essential Workers
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Food banks are doing what they can to fight hunger in the face of the pandemic, but they need help. Want to know what you can do? Visit feedingamerica.org/covid19 to learn more about Feeding America’s pandemic response, and find a food bank near you.

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