Henry Drake

Vermont - Written by his mother, Madeline

Before we moved to Vermont, I worked at a preschool in Charlotte, NC where a little boy named Grier attended. While there he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. I've kept up to date with Grier's continued battle, which often brings much needed perspective to our busy lives when trivial things seem to get in the way of the more important stuff.

There have been many times when after reading Grier's mom's blog about their days at hospitals, airplanes flights for treatments, phone calls to insurance companies, etc. that I literally feel transformed by their bravery, perseverance and hope. The Christenburys are very closely associated with Cookies for Kids' Cancer.

So when Henry was doing a "Change the World" project at school, helping Cookies for Kids' Cancer was a natural fit. He loves to bake. He loves helping others, and he felt a connection to this organization from our friends in Charlotte. When we read about the goal of CFKC having a bake sale in every state, we knew it was time to step up and put Vermont on the CFKC map.

He asked a few friends to join him (one who had never made a batch of cookies before!), and we had a planning session where we ordered the bake sale kit (highly recommend this!), set a timeline, fundraising goal and delegated jobs (including signage around school, donations for a raffle from a local bakery, announcements at school, putting donation jars around town, emailing friends and family, etc.).

Henry really wanted some personal stories included so he made a PowerPoint that he ran during the sale. He and each of his friends baked about 8 dozen cookies and met together to package them. They were sold out in minutes, but it didn't end there. They got to collect the jars around town and watch the money grow on the online donation page. They were amazed at how easy that was, and how generous people were, if you just asked.

When I asked Henry recently about the bake sale, he said, "It was just an amazing experience. You had a fun time cooking and selling cookies and you know you are doing it for a good cause. The customers also enjoyed eating the cookies and hey also know it's for a good cause so it puts a smile on everyone's face!" I'm sure the now 8th grade bakers will be back in action soon!