From our humble beginnings as a Sunday School project at a local Catholic Church to now, The Cookie Sale has changed vastly in the last 21 years. Moving from 500,000 meals the first year to just over four million, 2018 saw an 18.8% jump in growth.
In order to effect change we added the Diocese of Allentown as a growth partner and they came through with 484,175 meals realized by the sales of cookie trays.
We also had to change our purveyor since we outgrew Karns bakery, who did an amazing job of finding us another bakery that could handle the larger quantities. We now work with Byrnes & Kiefer in Pittsburgh, who reformulated and baked our cookies. When two tractor trailers loaded with 12.5 tons of cookies pulled up, we saw the reality of growth.
Another result was our logistics having to morph to meet demand, so we added more delivery trucks. As each of these variables continues to change so does our organizational structure.
Here is the breakdown of the 2018 finances.
This year, aided by over 100 amazing students of Bishop McDevitt High School, Harrisburg; Lancaster Catholic High School and Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Lewisburg, The Cookie Sale ran three satellite production shops in addition to the main base operated from Saint Joseph Church, Lancaster. This was a fantastic success from both the additional production achieved and the incredible students' willing participation to make a difference.
These young men and women who attended the event were able to earn service hours for their efforts and realize the chance to make a difference in their world. It is through the fruits of these labors that we are enabled to grow our mission and share the wealth of faith that evolves from the sharing of time and talents. We thank those who made the effort to be a part of this enriching experience and look forward to seeing them and their friends next year.
In 2014 Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Lewisburg joined the mission in an effort to further aid their sister parish of Immaculate Conception, Haiti. When the idea of The Cookie Sale was presented to the parish, it was the Caring Community group that spearheaded the effort. The parish response was fantastic and in 2018 they were able to provide 54,000 meals for the children in the school of Immaculate Conception, Haiti, showing the strength of the call and response of the sale.
One success story that shines brightly this year comes from Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish, Ephrata, PA. Besides following the Guaranteed Sales Plan (given to each parish), Marybeth Tearpock enlisted eight middle school students, all dressed in red, to hand out The Cookie Sale informational flyers before and after each mass on the weekend of the sale. Parishioners were delighted to see the saints in training doing their share of the work, which in turn encouraged the adults to buy the cookies. Some of the students received service hours for their participation. 2018 marked the first year O.M.P.H. Parish participated in The Cookie Sale. It was a great success, selling out of their 180 tray allotment by the end of the second mass. Not wanting to disappoint those looking for cookies after the third mass, a decision was made to sell the bags of "extra cookies" that are earmarked as a bonus, given to those purchasing two trays. Some people just made donations without buying any cookies. The good news doesn't end there, enough money was raised to purchase 100,500 meals the first year out from Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish.
Our 2018 total profit from The Cookie Sale will feed 4,225,200 people in third world countries often called "the poorest of the poor". Of course we can't do it alone. Our partnering with mission partners is instrumental in turning dollars into meals and getting it into the hands of those most in need. We have found this to be the best method of networking towards a unified goal.
Cross International/Cross Catholic Outreach buys Vitafood at a cost of 4 cents per serving, (subsidized by Feed My Starving Children). This translates into every $15 feeding 375 people. The Vitafood is then distributed via schools in Haiti. The results are compelling, students go to school to learn and be fed which in turn enables them to become educated, thus breaking the cycle of poverty.
The other major component is you! There will always be poor in the world and we are all called to serve. When you buy or help sell the cookie trays you become part of the solution. Without your participation none of this would be possible.
The 501(c)(3) status will enable us to grow and be better stewards of the donations we receive.
Among other positive benefits this allows us to give donors tax deductions when they make charitable gifts to our organization. And it makes our eligibility for grants on federal, state and local levels another funding option. Most funders state being a 501(c)(3) as a requirement to apply for a grant. Our ministry serves the poorest of the poor internationally by channeling aid, cost-effectively helping the poor break the cycle of poverty while advancing Christian evangelization.
Empowering this ministry allows support for the Church's spiritual mission and its important position of leadership in poor communities. Every donation is directed to its intended project, with honest and accurate reports provided to donors. All funds are handled with the utmost integrity and transparency.
Our 2018 total profit from The Cookie Sale will feed 4,225,200 people in third world countries often called "the poorest of the poor". Of course we can't do it alone. Our partnering with mission partners is instrumental in turning dollars into meals and getting it into the hands of those most in need. We have found this to be the best method of networking towards a unified goal. Cross International/Cross Catholic Outreach buys Vitafood at a cost of 4 cents per serving, (subsidized by Feed My Starving Children). This translates into every $15 feeding 375 people. The Vitafood is then distributed via schools in Haiti. The results are compelling, students go to school to learn and be fed which in turn enables them to become educated, thus breaking the cycle of poverty.
Kay Rathsam will be joining us on our next trip to Haiti. She returned the postcard that was found in the trays of cookies and was chosen at random for a mission trip. Congratulations Kay!
If you are interested in partnering with us on our next mission trip we want to hear from you. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get details to you for a 2019 trip.
For more information on The Cookie Sale to Combat World Hunger or to find out how you can take part call Jen Weber (717) 509-7399.