Drop In & Decorate and the 10,000th smile

BlogHer Original Post

Somewhere, this holiday season, a face will light up because of a cookie. But not just any cookie—it will be the 10,000th cookie decorated and donated as part of the Drop In & Decorate effort. Drop In & Decorate, which was founded by Lydia Walshin of The Perfect Pantry, is based on a simple and heartwarming idea: bake some cookies; gather a group of family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, your worship group or book group to decorate the cookies together; and donate the cookies to a nonprofit agency serving basic human needs in your own community.

Lydia Walshin recounts part of the tale of how Drop In & Decorate got started in a recent blog post:

Way back in 2002, my friend Candy and I read an article or saw a television show (we can't quite remember which) about Martha Stewart's beautiful flooded-icing cookies. 

Candy said, "We can do that." I replied, "No, we can't."

How we moved from no to yes, from our first attempts at decorating a few dozen cookies in my kitchen to becoming a nonprofit organization last year, is a great story.

Andrea Meyers of Andrea’s Recipes hosted her family’s first Drop In & Decorate event in December 2008:

We opened our house up to friends and neighbors, anyone who wanted to drop by and make one cookie or several cookies to donate to families in need during the holiday season. Our local moms group helped 17 families with food, clothing, and toys, and the cookie decorators made a dozen cookies for each family. We had a wonderful time and hopefully made life a little more special for others with the gift of homemade cookies, and we plan to do it again this year.

Stephanie O’Dea of A Year of Slow Cooking will participate this year for the first time:

I used to run a child care center that served homeless families, and I'm looking forward to bundling our cookies up to bring to some very deserving children and families.

There are very few rules, which is why I really, really like this project. You don't need to bake (unless you want to). You don't need to make your own icing (unless you want to). All you need is a few of your favorite friends, and an open and giving heart.

Will you be part of the effort this year? Pillsbury and Wilton have teamed up with Drop In & Decorate to help make the process a little easier. Pillsbury has donated 50 VIP coupons, worth $3.00 each, off any Pillsbury product—including sugar cookie mix, icing and flour—to be distributed, first come, first served, while supply lasts, to anyone who plans to host a Drop In & Decorate event (max. 5 coupons per person). And while supplies last, you can also get a free Comfort Grip cookie cutter, donated by Wilton.

Write to lydia AT ninecooks DOT com for more info on how to get your free coupons and cookie cutters.

Here are just some of the bloggers who have helped spread the word this month about Drop In & Decorate:

Holiday project idea: Drop In & Decorate (Sarah's Cucina Bella)
World Series Cookies for Drop In & Decorate (In Good Taste)
Drop In & Decorate: Bake, Decorate and Donate Cookies (Food Blogga)
Drop In & Decorate! (La Mia Cucina)
A Sweet Idea and a Sweet Snack (One Hot Stove)
Drop In & Decorate: 10,000 Cookies and 10,000 Smiles (Culinary Types)
Drop In & Decorate: Have Fun, Do Good (In the Kitchen and On the Road with Dorie)
Cause and effect (Hedonia)
Drop In & Decorate: 10,000 cookies = 10,000 smiles (Cora Cooks)
Drop In & Decorate (Savor the Thyme)
Culinary art with a touch of service (DinnerCakes)
Drop In & Decorate (Andrea Meyers)
Get free cookie mix for a Drop In & Decorate party (Chew on That)
Cookies make people happy (What's Cooking Blog)
Drop In & Decorate: Bake, Decorate and Donate Cookies (Young Mothers Serving Others)
Cookies for a Cause: Drop In & Decorate (Kitchen Gadget Girl Cooks)
Cookies for Giving: Works for Me Wednesday (Bake at 350)
Drop In & Decorate {Cookies=Smiles} (Tidy Mom)
Drop In & Decorate This Holiday Season (InnCuisine)
Who will decorate the 10,000th cookie? (The Inadvertent Gardener)
Go on, make my day! (Grow. Cook. Eat.)
Will yours be the 10,000th cookie? (Fresh Eyes)
Drop In & Decorate for the holidays (Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy)
Drop In & Decorate (The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz)
Drop In & Decorate (No Fear Entertaining)
Drop In & Decorate (Thyme for Cooking, The Blog)
Drop In & Decorate -- Cookies for Donation (A Year of Slow Cooking)

Genie blogs about gardening and food at The Inadvertent Gardener, and tells very short tales at 100 Proof Stories. She is also documenting her year in photos at 365 in 2009.

Photo credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/simply_happy/ / CC BY-NC 2.0

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