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Children learn about giving through library cookie event

December 05, 2009|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI

HAGERSTOWN -- The goal sounded rather lofty.

"We were looking for an activity the public could participate in that would help an organization meet basic human needs in our community," said Pat Wishard, public relations and marketing librarian for Washington County Free Library.

The activity to fit the bill turned out to be quite simple. It did not require legions of volunteers or massive financial support.

What it did require was cookies.

Wishard said library staff thought maybe patrons could be involved in provision of food for an area organization. A google search for ideas turned up a nonprofit group called Drop In & Decorate. The group's concept is simple. Bake some cookies, invite people to stop in and help decorate, then donate the cookies to a local agency or food pantry.

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"We thought the public could drop into the library to decorate the cookies. At the end of the day, we'll send them to the REACH Shelter. It'll be one way that (guests at the shelter) can celebrate the holidays," Wishard said.

Friends of the Library -- a volunteer organization focusing on library needs -- baked cookies. Sanders' Cookie Jar Bakery donated others, for a total of more than 400 cookies to be decorated throughout the afternoon. Wishard said Weis Markets and Martin's Food Markets provided decorating supplies.

Kaitlyn Harnish, 7, and her brother Noah Line, 4, of Hagerstown arrived at the library ready to decorate. They rinsed their hands in sanitizer, slid on plastic gloves and got down to business. Kaitlyn said she liked working with the icing.

"I like to pile it up and spread it out. I made one that was spiky," Kaitlyn said.

Noah was partial to the red and green icing. He topped his creations off with candy stars.

Mariah Ford, 10, of Hagerstown, said she liked the idea of making cookies for guests at the shelter.

"I think it will make them happy," Mariah said. "It makes me feel good."

Melissa Myers said she usually takes her boys Michael, 8, and Nathan, 4, to the library in their hometown of Clear Spring.

"Today, we decided to come in to the big one," she said. "I'm really glad we did, so they could have the opportunity to participate in this."

As he worked, Michael thought about the people at the shelter who would be receiving the cookies. He thought the goodies would be more than just an edible treat.

"I think it will be a reminder about Christmas," Michael said.

Kristen Hughes, 22, of Hagerstown, took Kaleb Hopp, 6, also of Hagerstown, to the library.

"I didn't know this was going on. I think it's great," Hughes said. "It's especially good because the kids are learning about helping out good organizations."

Drop In & Decorate was scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. During the first 30 minutes, more than 25 people decorated cookies. Wishard anticipate that at least 100 people would participate.

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