Christmas Cookie Walk

By Ann McKellan

The   following is a description of a fund raiser used by the St. Mark Orthodox Church   in Rochester Hills, MI.  Their Cookie   Walk is to raise money for their Building Fund, but it can be used to raise   money for all kinds of projects.  More   than ever, homemade and home-baked food sells.

The Christmas Cookie Walk is another opportunity to draw attention to the parish   in the community.  Some literature on the Orthodox Church and your particular parish, as well as flyers on upcoming   events open to the community can be placed where it can easily be picked up.    The church itself might be open, with a sign inviting people to stop   in.

1)    Pick your date and time for the affair.    We picked the 2nd Saturday in December, from 10 AM to 2 PM   It is scheduled for this time each year.    Your customers will become familiar with “the 2nd Saturday”   and will look forward to it.  Set   a price per pound of cookies.  We   started at $5. a pound 5 years ago and have gone to $8. a pound.    (We checked specialty cookie prices in the local area and priced ours   accordingly.)   

2)    Have a separate Public Relations Chairperson.    Print up and distribute flyers.    Try to get announcements or articles in local papers.   

3)    Ask parishioners to bake and donate a MINIMUM   of 5 lbs. of cookies.  (This is   equivalent to a double or triple batch.)    Cookies can be made by people individually or in teams at the church   if it has a commercial kitchen.  The   Youth Group might enjoy doing such a project together. 

Emphasize that you will need small attractive cookies.    In our area ethnic cookies, festive Christmas cookies, nut and poppy   seed rolls are big hits.  Oatmeal,   chocolate chip and ordinary cookies DO   NOT sell.  Nor do the   huge heavy cookies.  If someone   bakes the large gingerbread men or women, sell them individually.   

Put up a sign-up sheet that also asks the kind of cookies the   bakers will make.  In this way you   can give direction if you see that too much of one kind is being baked.    Variety is very important.  We   have 20 or more different cookies at our Cookie Walk.    Cookies can be baked in advance and frozen, providing they are well wrapped   in plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out. 

4)    Have the cookies dropped off and everything set up the night before the   event.  When your bakers arrive   with their cookies, have them sign in, again indicating the kind of cookies   they’ve baked.  (This information   will help you for the following year as you note what sells and what does not   sell.)  Set the cookies out on trays   or seasonal plates.  We put a little   card beside the platter indicating the kind of cookie.    You want the whole affair to be very eye-appealing.    In other nearby churches the cookies are just put out in the containers   they were brought in or in cardboard boxes.   

5)   Make up a schedule for your workers, a morning crew and an afternoon crew.    You will need 2-3 people to refill the plates as they empty.    (Don’t put all of the same cookies out at one time.)    You will also need one person weighing, one person taking money, and   perhaps 2 people tying ribbon on boxes.    A cleanup crew is also important. 

6)    Three weeks prior to the Cookie Walk, we put out a huge sign announcing   the coming of the affair.  Check with your city or township to see if there is an ordinance   on this.  Our sign could only be   on church property so many feet from the road.   

7)    Have a loose leaf notebook available for your customers to sign with   their name and address if they wish a flyer mailed to them next year.    It’s good to have a person assigned to that post.   

Good   Luck and Happy Baking!   

Ann   McKellan is Chairman once again of this year’s Christmas Cookie Walk.    She and her husband, Dennis are founding members of St. Mark Orthodox   Church, Rochester, Michigan.

Taken   from the OCA Resource   Handbook for Lay Ministries