Holiday initiative supports local families in crisis
By Julie Patton, News Editor
This holiday season, local shoppers at Southcentre Mall can treat themselves to a cookie while also supporting local charity Made by Momma.
The organization supports families and women in crisis through healthy prepared meals, baked goods, baby essentials, and more. Made by Momma’s vice president, Joanna Low, said – to put it simply – they are a food bank with a difference.
Over the summer the organization worked with Southcentre Mall over the summer as the charity of choice for Southcentre’s rooftop garden. This holiday season, Southcentre reached out again to ask if Made by Momma would run the annual Cookie Kitchen.
Since Made by Momma has a full commercial kitchen, the group’s volunteers were able to bake the cookies and make the icing needed to run the Cookie Kitchen.
Opened on Nov. 15, the Cookie Kitchen is located near Santa’s Enchanted Forest in the mall. Visitors are able to stop in to decorate cookies to enjoy for a small donation of $2.50.
“It’s a wonderful way to connect with the community and meet people that we otherwise wouldn’t,” Low said.
Run completely by volunteers, Low said the Cookie Kitchen has 400 volunteer shifts over the course of 40 days. Although the event has been busy, Low said it is a great opportunity for kids to get their start on volunteering.
“It’s a nice way to volunteer as a family,” she said. “Children ages 12 and older who want to volunteer with parents or guardians are able to do that, and there aren’t many volunteer opportunities in our community that can bring families together like that!”
Made by Momma aims to bake 8,000 cookies this holiday season and raise $20,000. Money raised at the event will go towards the organization’s food hampers and other essential items needed for families going through crisis.
“It is such a unique and special opportunity,” Low said. “It’s a lot of learning anytime you take on a new project… So, we’re looking forward to being able to build on what we’ve learned this year and hope to be part of this project for a long time going forward.”
The Cookie Kitchen can be accessed at Southcentre Mall during mall hours and will run until Dec. 24.