The “Cookie Wars” That Benefited Essential Workers

The “cookie wars” began as a lighthearted joke between Scott McKenzie, 58-year-old and his friend, 42-year-old, Jeremy Uhrich – two dads in Huntington, Pennsylvania competing for bragging rights.

After being furloughed from his associate coaching job at a local college due to the pandemic, McKenzie set a goal for himself of learning at least one new skill a week. First up—cookie baking.

Despite the first batch of McKenzie’s chocolate chip cookies being far from perfect, they were tasty. Boasting of his success on Facebook, his friend Uhrich, a local middle school English teacher, commented he was sure he could do better. Thus, began the riveting cookie gauntlet and the bake-off.

The dads were soon joined by one of Uhrich’s former students, 18-year-old Rachel Kyle who noticed the rising tensions on social media and decided the appropriate course of action would be to involve Huntingdon Borough Mayor David Wessels to serve as a nonpartisan arbitrator of who had the best cookie.

To both McKenzie and Uhrich’s surprise, Kyle took top cookie honors.

After the friendly competition concluded, Uhrich and McKenzie dropped off their remaining cookies to essential workers in the Huntington area.

Uhrich said in an interview with The Washington Post, “We came out of it saying, ‘A little bit of sugar and some flour can go a long way. We should do it again.’”

Inspired by the success of their endeavour, the pair of dads transformed their two-man bake-off concept into an initiative called Cookies for Caregivers.

“Cookies for Caregivers was born as a reflection of the COVID-19 experience in 2020,” notes the group’s Facebook page. “Many folks continued to go to work and serve their community as others were told to stay home, or were able to work from home. We decided to show our gratitude to those working to serve us by serving them freshly baked cookies as a modest sign of our appreciation and respect.”

McKenzie and Uhrich were hopeful others would volunteer their time and baking expertise, but they never expected the enthusiastic response their idea received.

Within a few days, the group’s membership exceeded more than 100 would-be cookie bakers.

McKenzie and Uhrich organized a schedule of four bakers each week preparing cookies and taking them to first responders and essential workers. In the first eight months since Cookies for Caregivers debuted, McKenzie and Uhrich estimated more than 1,300 dozen—that’s 15,600 individual—cookies were delivered to hospitals, schools, fire and police stations—and even the newsroom of the local newspaper.

“This is a direct reflection of our community as a whole, and a credit to them,” Uhrich said. “This community is small in size, but huge in heart.”

Source: Good News Network