See an album of photos from the day HERE.
As I looked up to greet the first group of attendees, I felt someone hugging my leg. I looked down and saw an adorable little guy looking up at me, telling me that he loved me very much! That was the beginning of this year’s annual “Cookie Baking” event.
The children came from two organizations on Long Island. The Women’s Opportunity and Rehabilitation Center (The WORC) provides court advocacy for pre-sentenced female offenders, educational assistance, vocational services, personal counseling, life skills workshops and assessment and referrals. These services provide an alternative to incarceration and thereby help to avoid long term consequences of children being separated from and growing up without their mothers. The other group was Manhasset Great Neck EOC (Economic Opportunity Council) from the Spinney Hill neighborhood. They provide services for children from low income families.
So many helped to make this event a tremendous success. Our Women’s Group enjoyed co-sponsorship with the Social Justice committee. The Art Committee generously purchased about 50 gifts for the children. Volunteers came from members of the Religious Education Committee and one received Community Service credit. Volunteers from the Congregational Church, as well as other friends worked with the children. David Olsen and Natalie Fenimore were “hands on” attendees. David ran around to find scissors and anything else we needed. Our ministerial intern sang songs with the children (totally unplanned). Instead of reindeer, Herb transported Santa.
It was a huge effort to plan and organize the day. We made cookie dough to bake and send home. Costume jewelry was donated and offered to the mothers. We planned, purchased and set up activities – mostly crafts. The children made beaded ornaments, wreaths, green trees, and gingerbread houses. In addition, we had a dreidel game, a Kwanza Bingo game and an outdoor nature walk.
Many children enjoyed the day, taking home cookies they baked, their crafts, presents from Santa and holiday memories. I went home with the memory of a wonderful day and especially that little boy – telling me how he loved me so much.
Our Women’s Group would like to thank all who participated and contributed to this very special day.
Submitted by Maria Ceraulo, Women’s Group Chair of Women’s Issues