Mixing It Up with Sweet Treats
Perhaps you’ve seen – or received or gifted – a mason jar full of dry ingredients to make cookies. They’re popular during the Christmas season! Simply staring at the jar might make your mouth water or seemingly fill the air with that “fresh baked cookie” smell. Annette Aldrich of Smulders 1101 in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, is familiar with the mix and noticed that many people give these jars as Christmas gifts. “I thought poor families like goodies just as well as anybody else,” Annette said. “But when we donate food, we usually give the basics,” she continued. “Why not give the[m] a little treat to enjoy?” Her simple question sparked something sweet.
One afternoon at St. Linus Church in Dearborn Heights – in a space that once served as a convent – Annette and 14 other volunteers gathered to make cookie mixes in a jar. “Our court members and people who are affiliated with the court are wonderful and very helpful,” Annette said, attributing the event’s success in part to the volunteers. “I am especially blessed because I get to do these outreach activities with my mother and daughter who are a great support.”
Fraternal Outreach Coordinator Michael Cesario attended the event and described the energy in the room as one of kindness akin to being home with a big family. “The kindness and joy that came from the participants was incredible to witness!” he said. “It’s the genuine willingness to give which makes a Feeding God’s Children event special.”
Though this one did, Feeding God’s Children (FGC) events don’t always involve food. “It means looking at ways you can help in the community because there are people who need help,” Annette said of what FGC means to her. “Even small contributions can make a big difference in someone’s life, so these types of events are important.”
The opportunity to participate in these events and be a part of Catholic Order of Foresters – an organization her parents were also involved in – isn’t lost on Annette. “I get the chance continue the legacy and even pass it down to my daughters,” she said.
For anyone interested in organizing a Feeding God’s Children event, Michael has some advice. “Start small, water it with the willingness to give, and it will grow overtime,” he said. “You will be utterly surprised with what happens when you ask your parish priest to use the church basement and ask your friends and family to come help people in need.”
In total, the group made 40 jars of cookie mix and donated some of them to St. Linus Food Pantry. Members of Smulders 1101 took the rest of the jars – but not for themselves. They will distribute them to local families they know who are in need.
Article by Katlyn Gerken.