Over twenty thousand smiles for Community Living


Christian Gammon-Roy


This year’s Tim Hortons Smile Cookie fundraiser just ended, raising a staggering $32,647.50 for Community Living West Nipissing. The campaign ran from Monday, May 1st until Sunday May 7th. Both Tim Hortons franchises in Sturgeon Falls baked, decorated and sold 21,765 of the cookies at $1.50 apiece, with 100% of those proceeds going to charity.

“Years ago, we had approached Tim Hortons and said “If you’re ever looking for a charity for the cookie campaign, we would be interested, and we could help out.” It just happened that they picked us, and then we had the campaign for a few years,” recalls Sylvie Bélanger, Executive Director of Community Living West Nipissing.

Over the last few years, the campaign had benefited another local organization, but went back to Community Living this year. “It’s not a guarantee that they pick our charity,” notes Belanger, adding that she is grateful for the help.

Perhaps it’s the support that the organisation provides that tips the decision in their favour. As Bélanger explains, her staff don’t just sit back and wait for their donation, they get quite involved in the whole process. “This is a big campaign, and they have to do all their own baking and their own products on top of the smile cookies. […] So we help, we help bake, we help decorate, we help deliver, we take pre-orders,” she explains. “It’s a win-win for everybody. It’s a win for us because the more cookies they sell, 100% of it gets back to us. So, the more we help, the more funds we raise for our organisation.”

Bélanger acknowledges the hard work that the Tim Hortons staff puts into the campaign on their behalf, and that’s why she and her staff are so committed to lending a hand. “We make some calls, we call all our contacts, our staff help. We have a little bit of a contest going where the staff can sell cookies too. We send our pre-orders to Tim’s, and we help bake those cookies and decorate them, and the next day we spend the day delivering those cookies.” This year, she says that pre-sales made up just over 11,000 of the cookies sold during the campaign. Many businesses buy several boxes and donate them, getting them delivered to places like the women’s shelter and Au Château.

Bélanger calls the campaign “very successful” and she is thrilled with the results of back-to-back fundraising campaigns, between their Gala and the Smile Cookies, as all these funds benefit their clients directly. She admits that she and her staff are quite exhausted after so much work and planning, but that she is always grateful to have Tim Hortons pick her organization for their campaign. She doesn’t know if they will be selected as the recipient again next year. “Of course, we would never say ‘no’, since it’s a big fundraiser for us,” she says, fingers crossed.

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