~The following blog post contains sponsored content. A huge thank you to my friends at Betty Crocker. Without the support of brands like theirs, we bloggers would not be able to take the time to create recipes for you all! ~
Every year during the holidays, as a family, we like to do something to give back to our community. Not only are we helping those in need, we are teaching our kids valuable lessons in giving and compassion.
I was on the fence this year what I wanted to do, should we volunteer at a soup kitchen? Donate money to the local food bank? When I received an email from Betty Crocker asking me to host a cookie exchange and toy drive to help support Toys for Tots, I knew this would be a fun way to give back to those children in need.
As I was planning the cookie exchange over the last couple of weeks, I started to see local stories on our news station about how in need New Hampshire's Toys for Tots chapter was. Last year they needed an estimated 150,000 toys so that each child in need could receive just two Christmas gifts. This year? They need an estimated 300,000 toys just in New Hampshire alone! So far they have only had 10,000 toys donated, they seriously need the help this holiday season.
I am so happy we participated in this event with Betty Crocker. It was such a valuable lesson for my three slightly spoiled kids. They are so used to being on the receiving end when it comes to gift giving. It was refreshing to see how eager they were to collect the toy donations, knowing they were going to other kids. Even my two year old, who I thought would not understand, grasped the concept. I was so proud of my little cookie monsters and their big hearts.
For our exchange we not only asked our guests to bring a dozen of their favorite cookies to share, but an unwrapped children's toy to donate. During the party we enjoyed hot chocolate complete with candy cane stirrers, listened to holiday music, played in the snow, decorated cookies.... and of course ATE tons of cookies.
This being a party filled with children under the age of 7, there was a lot of sticky going on. I think after everyone left there was 283,480 candy sprinkles on my floor and bits of red and green frosting on every surface of the house. But it was so worth it, the kids and adults all had a blast, we had great treats to eat, and most importantly we collected a ton of new toys to be donated to Toys for Tots.
Want to learn more about Toys for Tots or make a donation? Click HERE for more info.
Want to know how you can host a Betty Crocker Cookie Exchange? Click HERE to sign up. The first 1000 people to host a cookie swap will get the kits sent to them from Betty Crocker.
Need some holiday cookie baking ideas? Don't fret! Betty has you covered! Click HERE for some great cookie exchange ideas.
Or you can enter to win my Betty Crocker Cookie Exchange Kit Giveaway! Each kit contains Betty Crocker cookie mixes, frosting, a Betty Crocker spoon, an apron, a train cookie cutter, and the best part? A copy of "The Betty Crocker Big Book of Cookies". This book contains every cookie or bar recipe you need to get you through the holiday season. Not only that there are so many fun, creative ideas and cookie baking tips!
To enter to win follow the directions on the widget below. Make sure you leave a blog comment telling me what your favorite Christmas cookie is!
(Disclaimer: Betty Crocker compensated me to write this post and also provided me with a cookie exchange kit as well as sponsored this giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own.)