Two local men start nationwide movement by spreading kindness with cookies

Making it Matter

HUNTINGDON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — What are the ingredients for the perfect cookie?

You may need some sugar, eggs and butter, but if you ask Scott McKenzie and Jeremy Uhrich, the founders of the organization “Cookies for Caregivers,” a treat will always taste a little sweeter if you mix it with kindness.

“We’re baking cookies and we are making other people’s days better,” McKenzie said. “What is not fun about that?”

McKenzie had never even baked a cookie before the pandemic. When he got furloughed from his job he got thinking.

“I told myself I was going to do something I had never done before every week that I was on furlough,” he explained. “So the first thing I did was realize I was hungry!”

McKenzie decided to pull out the Betty Crocker cookbook and the baking began.

The cookies turned out pretty good so McKenzie wanted to brag and posted a picture to Facebook.

“I thought it was very ironic when I saw his post,” Uhrich explained. “I responded back immediately and said, ‘you may have baked chocolate chip cookies for the first time, but I guarantee mine are better!’ So I put him up to the challenge and he responded back immediately.”

“It was on like Donkey Kong,” McKenzie continued.

In stepped the Huntingdon Borough mayor who judged the cookies on Fabebook live. When it was over they delivered the extras to those working on the frontlines as a way to say thank you and realized they had a good thing.

“We knew that we had something and it wasn’t difficult,” Uhrich said. “It was baking a few dozen cookies and doing something good by giving them out and delivering them to people who in our eyes at the time were our heroes going out and working each day.”

McKenzie then did something else he had never done before. He created a Facebook group called “Cookies for Caregivers” and it took off.

Each week volunteer bakers from the community help make dozens of cookies. McKenzie and Uhrich then hand them out to the people who put their lives on the line every day.

The freshly baked cookies are for everyone who cares for the community. The group recognizes the importance each job has on keeping our world moving during the toughest times.

“Who isn’t essential,” McKenzie said. “Everybody is essential. For communities to work it takes everybody. We want to not rest until we thank everybody who is out there.”

Cookies are not only being delivered in Central Pennsylvania, but from coast to coast. Right now there are more than 100 chapters across the country and in some major cities.

“Being able to help somebody understand that they are visible, that they do matter, that they are a crucial part of your environment and your community, what’s wrong with that,” McKenzie said. “There’s nothing wrong with that.”

For any baked good you of course need the sugar, eggs and butter, but sometimes the best ingredients may not be something you can buy. If you sprinkle in a little kindness you will always have the recipe for the perfect cookie. A recipe we should all try and follow.

“We don’t want to take a week off,” Uhrich said. “Giving kindness and spreading kindness and cheer to people, there is no taking that off.”

Even when the pandemic is behind us McKenzie and Uhrich plan to keep going. They said there is no expiration date on kindness.

If you know someone or an organization that’s making it matter in our community, send an email to msmolka@wtajtv.com or reach out on Facebook.

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