As I travel through SE Asia, I wanted to post chronologically, but I had to share this story right away because it has adorable photos and it’s for a good cause (here’s the proof and teaser to make you keep reading).
I still have many things to share from my first two weeks in the Philippines, but I’m currently in Siem Reap, Cambodia (if you’ve been following along on Instagram) and want to talk to you about cookies. Actually, we’re going to talk about spreading some cookie love.
nutshell cookie jar, I want to talk to you about spreading some #cookielove. Between the cookie swaps, holiday baking and dinner parties, very few of us suffer from lacking something to eat. But there are those who do. Over at Food Bloggers of Canada, we posted this the other day.
The premise is simple, we all can give a little and make a big difference. Here’s the formula…
1 person = 10 cookies
10 people = 100 cookies
100 people = 1,000 cookies
1,000 people = 10,000 cookies
You get the point…
The call to action is simple. A very small gesture multiplied over and over is so doable and within our control. There are shelters or soup kitchens who could use an extra few sweets, a neighbor or friend who would appreciate a simple gesture or just doing something for someone, this is just about paying it forward.
So living in hostels and traveling through multiple countries in Southeast Asia doesn’t allow much opportunity for baking, but I wanted to demonstrate how easy this #cookielove thing could be! Thanks to my friend Victoria, I was introduced to this incredible woman named Tammy who runs a school in Siem Reap, Cambodia called ABC’s & Rice (more on her and the school coming soon). Their tag line is “empowering the poor to break the cycle of poverty” but that doesn’t do it justice from what they do on a day to day basis.
What they do is give children the opportunity to be children, feed them, clothe them, educate them, keep them safe and giving them a chance to have a semblance of the life that most of us simply take for granted. At a very small age, many children are asked by their families to contribute to the household income in all sorts of ways and they never have a chance to be kids. Parents value the short-term gains and more often than not, don’t let their kids go to school. So, at ABC’s & Rice, the parents allow their kids to go to school and in return, they receive a monthly stipend of rice for the whole family. So they’re earning their keep by going to school!
With an invite to visit the school, I ventured out late at night in Siem Reap to find a grocery store, bought 120 various kinds of cookies and came fully stocked! After spending a couple of dizzying hours getting the history of ABC’s & Rice, a tour of the school, sitting in on the Adventures of Captain Underpants and playing basketball with a few kids, it was time to bust out the cookies.
I’ll let the photos speak for themselves…
Kids being kids, that’s what this was all about. Some thanked me profusely before taking a cookie, some thanked me after, some grabbed and ran and some needed a little prodding to take a cookie before gobbling it up. A sweet, small gesture repeated over and over again. That’s what #cookielove it all about.
Share your #cookielove story to inspire others and let’s see how many more beautiful smiles we can find!