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Much like many of us early in the pandemic, two dads from Huntingdon, Pennsylvania — Scott & Jeremy — decided to pass the time by baking.
"Back in March, I was furloughed from my position, and I decided to do something new every week," Scott says. "And the first thing I did was made some cookies from scratch. Never done that before. I was so proud and amazed that my cookies turned out the way they did that I had to brag on Facebook about it."
"I saw Scott's post on Facebook," Jeremy says, "and ironically, I'd been baking cookies with my two boys around that same time, so I challenged him to a bake-off, and it was on."
"Jeremy and I have been friends for a long time," Scott adds. "We are both former athletes ourselves, so at our age, if we can compete over cookies, that's probably going to be the safest thing for us physically."
Jeremy, a high school basketball coach, knew a student of his named Rachel also enjoyed baking, so they included her in the competition — and the three of them took their cookies to City Hall for the mayor to judge.
"Rachel was judged to have the best cookie," Scott says. "Then it was a fight for second place and I took second place and Jeremy with his dense chocolate chip cookies came in third." LOL!
"We had a lot of leftover cookies and we decided we were going to take them to many of our first responders," Jeremy remembers.
"They were shocked that somebody had recognized them," Scott says. "Witnessing the wonderful reaction of our community heroes, it was natural that we wanted to keep doing it because there were many, many more people to thank."
That's when Scott created a Facebook group — and "Cookies For Caregivers" was born.
Scott and Jeremy recruited volunteers who would choose the cookies they wanted to make, shop for the ingredients and bake them. Scott and Jeremy would then take care of packaging & delivery.
"We purchase the cookie containers," Scott says. "We include a little letter on top of each of the dozen cookies that thanks [first responders] personally for what they're doing."
By their 38th week, they had delivered about 16,000 cookies to frontline workers. Incredible.
"We've had people tell us that our deliveries have turned their day around, their week around, Scott says. "The fact that they thought they were invisible but now they know they've been seen."
"A cookie is probably sometimes as good as, if not better than, a hug," he continues, talking to Rach.
And they don't plan on stopping when the pandemic ends.
"We have adopted the phrase, 'There's no expiration on kindness,'" Jeremy says. "We've been telling the bakers and our volunteers, 'We're going to continue this.'"
Our friends at Bob’s Red Mill heard their story, and they are donating $10,000 to help Scott & Jeremy and the volunteers keep up with baking and delivering cookies!
Scott & Jeremy are part of our "Nice List" series, highlighting amazing people doing good in their communities this holiday season. Read more good news stories here.