The St. Joseph-St. Elizabeth School first graders, their teachers and parents have been busy baking cookies in preparation for this year’s annual event, “Cookies for Christ.”
Each first grader was asked to bring in four-dozen cookies, individually wrapped. The cookies were then sold to St. Joseph-St. Elizabeth School students, teachers and parents for 25 cents each from December 6 to 8. All the money raised goes to the Sunshine Club, a joint Christmas giving program sponsored by both St. Joseph parish and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish. This year, a school family, Todd and Lisa Snyder, donated light blue t-shirts with the “Cookies for Christ” logo on the front for the first graders and teachers Julie Peters and Molly Slocum to wear.
“Cookies for Christ has been a long-standing tradition at St. Joseph-St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School,” said Lois Widner, principal of St. Joseph-St. Elizabeth School. “This is such an awesome way for our students to demonstrate the gift of stewardship at such a young age. The children truly understand that they are giving of themselves to help out their community. What a wonderful example of Christ!”
The Sunshine Club sets up Giving Trees at both parishes. Parish families take tags off the trees which instructs them to purchase specific items of clothing, toys and other gifts to return to the Giving Tree. Non-perishable food items are also collected through the religious education and school classrooms. All these items are collected, sorted and then given to needy families in the St. Joseph and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish boundaries in mid-December.
“Each year I am amazed by how generous people in our two parishes are to the collections for the Sunshine Club,” said Marcy Kamaka, St. Joseph parish secretary.
The money that the first graders raise in their Cookies for Christ sale is given to the Sunshine Club, which can then purchase any needed additional items to give to the families. This year’s cookie sale raised $721 and all the proceeds will be given to the Sunshine Club of St. Joseph and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishes.
Cookies for Christ was started 13 years ago by retired first grade teacher Joanne Krudop, who came in to talk to the first graders about the program she started. The tradition of cookie baking, selling and giving the money to the Sunshine Club is now an established holiday tradition for St. Joseph-St. Elizabeth School first graders and their families.