Cookie books, for the greater good.

‘Tis the season for one-day cookie sales and exchanges at women’s clubs, religious institutions and the like to raise money for charitable causes. Boxes of Love is a youth-led, North Shore-based enterprise that uses a holiday cookie-baking model to generate funds to support a local organization in need. This year that cause is Sojourner Family Peace Center.

Damon Katz, a 15-year-old high school freshman heads up Boxes of Love, which was started by another teen back in 2006. To date, some 200 Whitefish Bay kids are involved – baking, selling orders and packaging them up for delivery. The group accepts orders for the cookie boxes up until Black Friday, with delivery locally and beyond of various packages of treats (options have included Grandma’s sugar cookies, Scrumptious 7-layer Bars and Splendiferous Snickerdoodles). In 2016, Boxes raised over $23,000 for Pathfinders, which focuses on homeless and runaway youth.

Each November, We Energies starts distributing its much-anticipated Cookie Book. (Go to the book’s archives – where it’s available for free download – and you’ll see they date to 1932!) Cookie books are a baker’s best friend. This writer anxiously awaits the recipes that typically appear in the December Bon Appetit.

There are of course many smaller, no less worthy baking endeavors, such as Mount Carmel’s Cookie Jar, a little spiral-bound book of 116 recipes submitted by parishioners, food writers and local chefs with proceeds going to Mount Carmel Lutheran Church.

As co-editor Kay Austermann explains, “Lutherans are famous for their coffee consumption. (Just ask Garrison Keillor!) Our church adds cookies to the coffee. We always have homemade cookies between services every Sunday.” The holiday book is just a natural extension of that. Contact the church or call 414-771-1270 to order a copy (for $10, plus $3 shipping).

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‘For the Greater Good’ appears in the December 2017 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning November 27, or buy a copy at

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