Article by Sabina Carbajal
After months of coordination, over 90 volunteer hours devoted to decorating, and many broken cookies to snack on, Empowerment Squared and Tim Hortons Binbrook are celebrating the end of another successful Smile Cookie Campaign! As the Administrative Coordinator for this campaign and new team member at Empowerment Squared, it was a privilege to work on this dynamic project and I’m excited to share some of the highlights.
Our Partnership and This Year’s Achievements
The Smile Cookie Campaign started in 1996 to help raise funds for the Hamilton Children’s Hospital in Ontario. Today, 625+ local charities and organizations in communities across Canada benefit from Smile Cookie sales. We are extremely appreciative that Tim Hortons Binbrook and its owner Kara Kennish chose Empowerment Squared as their local partner!
With your help, we doubled our internal Smile Cookie sales from last year! Through our website, we sold just over 12,000 cookies, compared to just over 6,000 in 2020. Between website sales, in-store sales at Tim Hortons Binbrook, and cookies sold in person at the 168th Binbrook Fair, we raised a total of $30,244 to support our local programming!
Driving Miles to Ice Some Smiles
Earlier this month, Empowerment Squared staff and volunteers joined us on their days off to decorate thousands of cookies over the course of three days. Our selfless team of volunteers worked like a well-oiled machine: traying, baking, decorating, and packaging Smile Cookies with all the care and positivity that is characteristic of our organization.
But unlike a machine, volunteers produced an array of uniquely decorated Smile Cookies, many emulating the likes of Picasso. These eccentric cookies have been immortalized on our Instagram account.
168th Binbrook Fair
On the last two days of Smile Cookie week, E2 staff and Tim Hortons volunteers (wo)manned a booth at the annual Binbrook Fair – a quintessential summer festivity for Binbrook residents and out-of-town visitors alike.
Some fair patrons meandered through the vendor buildings and purchased cookies by the dozen at our booth. However, most people could be found along the fair’s midway or occupying the rodeo stands. E2 staff and volunteers adapted by selling individually-wrapped cookies out of a box throughout the fairgrounds, hollering “Tim Hortons Smile Cookies for $1 each, 100% of sales go to charity!” for all to hear. This endeavour was such a success that we completely sold out of cookies on the last day of the fair.
It was during this time that the Tim Hortons Smile Cookie slogan “Give a Smile, Get a Smile” felt so palpable. We watched as families and friends laughed about crooked smiles, snapped selfies, and indulged in their cookies.
From the bottom of our hearts, Empowerment Squared would like to thank each and everyone who volunteered for the campaign, bought cookies for themselves or paid them forward, and who spread the word about the campaign. Every “like” on social media, every conversation in passing, and every purchase is an immense help to our cause. We have to give a huge shout out to the community in Binbrook for stepping up to buy tens of thousands of delicious cookies!
Thank you to Tammy, Julie, and Simone for kindly letting us use your facility and for helping us bake, decorate, and package thousands of cookies. We’d also like to acknowledge TD Canada Trust and our other corporate purchasers for their particularly generous orders of Smile Cookies.
Thank you to all of our Smile Cookie Ambassadors for your hard work. Stay tuned for a post announcing the top three winners of our contest!
Last but certainly not least, we’d like to thank Kara Kennish, Manager Kim Burrow, Assistant Manager Tina Perron, and the entire team at Tim Hortons Binbrook for generously sponsoring Empowerment Squared for the second year in a row. Your compassionate commitment to philanthropy will ensure that newcomer and marginalized youth in our community can benefit from academic mentoring and literacy programs, sports activities, art experiences, and much more. We can’t wait to do it all again next year!