Tallgrass Creek Residents Bake 2,000 Cookies a Month to Help Feed Homeless

OVERLAND PARK, KS (August 27, 2013) – Fifty-one Tallgrass Creek retirement community residents in Overland Park, Kansas, are baking hundreds of cookies daily from their apartment homes to help feed homeless men, women and children in Kansas City, Missouri.

They bake more 2,000 cookies a month as part of a community outreach project to assist Marcia Merrick, a Kansas City volunteer who provides 400 lunches daily to the homeless. Merrick began providing the healthy sack lunches years ago and has since inspired others to help.

“Marcia is an amazing woman with a passion for helping the homeless and disadvantaged,” said resident Bunny Brown, co-chairperson of the Tallgrass Creek HUGS committee, which oversees the community’s charitable efforts, including the cookie donations. “She has always included a couple of homemade cookies in each lunch and for some time made all 800 cookies each day by herself. We stepped in to give her a little help.”

The cookie baking project by Tallgrass Creek residents first began about three years ago when each baker supplied two-dozen homemade cookies a month for a total of 624 cookies. More bakers soon joined in.

“We had more and more people who wanted to get involved,” said resident Fran Wolfe, who also co-chairs HUGS “We have residents who donate anywhere from two dozen to many dozens of cookies a month.”

After baking, residents package their cookies two to a baggie, so Merrick can easily drop them into sack lunches. Then they’re dropped off at the Resident Life office where Wolfe and Brown box them for easy transport.

The array of different cookies is astounding and always includes Brown’s snickerdoodles and Wolfe’s molasses cookies. Many residents use family recipes for chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal-raisin, sugar, or other homemade cookies that have been handed down through the years.

“Marcia tells us the folks she’s helping are always excited when our cookies will be in the lunches,” said Brown. “They should be. We have some incredible bakers here, including a few men.”

Residents also donate socks, men’s shoes, clothing, toiletries, and more to Merrick’s volunteer efforts for the homeless. Which is why Wolfe and Brown say they expect the number of homemade cookies to continue to grow.

“People here are very generous and want to help,” said Wolfe. “But the cookies, in particular, are near and dear to all our hearts.”

Merrick is grateful for the support she receives from Tallgrass Creek bakers. “It's such a blessing,” Merrick said. “These are special people with beautiful hearts.”

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Caption for photo: Bunny Brown (left) and Fran Wolfe are shown with some of the homemade cookies Tallgrass Creek bakers make monthly to be included in lunches for the homeless (photo by Mary Bush).

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