Cookies at Christmas
Taking the joy of christ's birth to inmates and officers
At TJM, we've come to learn that small things matter. Maybe you've heard someone say--especially about those in jail--that they should "get what they deserve." Cookies are probably not what they had in mind. Still, every Christmas, that is what the volunteers of TJM deliver to the men and women in jail.
Beginning months ahead of time, we ask volunteers to bake hundreds of dozens of homemade cookies. We have individuals, neighborhood groups, churches and schools who answer the call. A week or so before Christmas, more volunteers gather for Cookie Week. With volunteers and cookies everywhere, we bring in, repackage and send back out over 15,000 cookies. That's more than 1,200 dozen of homemade goodness. Our volunteer chaplains deliver the cookies to all the jail facilities in Hamilton County, Ohio on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Each incarcerated person receives a bag of cookies and assurance that someone is thinking about and praying for them over the holidays. A similar thing is done for Corrections Officers a few days earlier.
You may ask why. For many in society--incarcerated or not--Christmas is a very long, lonely day. In Hamilton County, as well as many jails around the country, visitations are not permitted on holidays. TJM volunteers are friendly faces on those days and, even if you don't like the coconut cookies, our visit breaks up the day. More specifically, we know that we're a people who hang our lives on getting what we don't deserve--whether it's grace or cookies. While a bag of cookies is a small thing, it's also a metaphor. One that matters.
TJM's Cookies at Christmas program is possible because of our many volunteers. If you would like to help ensure the program continues, fill out the information form and we'll get in touch with you.
Christ the King Church Eastern Hills
5825 Islington Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45227
Please pay special attention to the days and times for the 2019 Cookie Week program as these are different from the past couple of years. This change is to ensure that inmates receive fresh cookies that have been baked and packed as close to Christmas as possible.
Cookies may be dropped off Thursday, December 19th (1:00p - 7:00p) or Friday, December 20th (9:00a - 4:30p) at Christ the King Church - Eastern Hills. We will have signs to make the drop off location as obvious as possible.
Volunteers are needed to package cookies on Friday, December 20th (6:00p - 9:00p) and Saturday, December 21st (10:00a - 5:00p).
Picking up Cookies (Chaplains)
Chaplains may pick up the cookies for their units on Sunday, December 22nd (1:00p - 5:00p) or Monday, December 23rd (10:00a - 5:00p). Chaplains will are expected to deliver on or before Christmas Day. Please email or call Stuart to let him know which units/pods you will be delivering to.
Transforming Jail Ministries packs and distributes 15,000 homemade cookies to the inmates and officers at Christmas. If possible, decorate the cookies to be festive-looking! examples:
Sugar cookies with sprinkles, decorated cut sugar cookies, colored M&Ms
Oatmeal with raisins or craisins, or any regular sized cookie
Regular size is approximately 2-3”, so that 6 cookies fit comfortably in a sandwich bag. Uniformity is desired so that everyone feels the same amount of appreciation. In other words, please avoid baking any cookies that could create jealousy between inmates (candy, fudge, etc.).
Please consider signing up for the number of cookies you are willing to make and donate (sign-up by the dozen; thus, “1” will indicate “1 dozen”).
Pack cookies flat, in a protective box with wax paper or cardboard between layers
Do not put cookies in plastic bags
Allow cookies to dry completely before delivering
Tins and containers cannot be stored or returned (please do not send us valuable containers you would like to receive back)
Please share this with any others who may wish to help with this service