About this time last year, I was contacted by Lydia Walshin from Perfect Pantry and Drop In & Decorate, with a unique proposal. Have a party, she suggested, and invite your friends to come over and decorate cookies for the holidays. Then, take those cookies and donate them to a local non-profit organization serving basic human needs in your community.
Wow, I thought, what a great idea. I always host a cookie exchange or two during December, but after you exchange the cookies and eat lunch, there is not much to do. Decorating large sugar cookies to donate would be a great activity. So, last Christmas, I hosted my first Drop In & Decorate event to support the Ronald MacDonald House, and then in May, hosted another Drop In & Decorate for Mother’s Day. Both occasions were well received, with friends commenting about how enjoyable it was to decorate and create with worthy recipients in mind!
This year, as the holidays approach, I am again thinking about hosting a Drop In & Decorate event. I will chose a Saturday or Sunday, so I have time to prepare, and may start reaching out to non-profits before Thanksgiving. I learned a couple things from my last two events:
- Start calling non-profits earlier than you think
- Be flexible when offering the cookies – some organizations were having special parties they wanted the cookies for, others could only take donations M-F
- The cookies can last a week or two after you make them – all that frosting helps, plus wrapping them individually in plastic bags helps keep them fresh
If you’d like to host your own Drop In & Decorate® event, Pillsbury and Wilton would like to help! 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 Lydia will include a Comfort Grip cookie cutter, donated by Wilton, while supplies last. Write to lydia AT ninecooks DOT com for more info on how to get your free coupons and cookie cutters.
And if you plan on hosting your own event, be sure to check out Lydia’s great information on how to Host Your Own Party, as well as Recipes for Cookies and Icing. I typically make Cream Cheese Cutout Cookies a week or so in advance, and freeze them until I am ready to decorate. I make the Royal Icing with the help of friends, and my family helps package the cookies when they are all set.
Are you planning to host a Drop In & Decorate event? Let me know!