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Baking Memories 4 Kids Helps Create Life-Changing Experiences for Kids

Baking Memories 4 Kids Helps Create Life-Changing Experiences for Kids

Every holiday season, volunteers with Baking Memories 4 Kids bake and sell cookies to provide once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for families across the country.


Baking Memories 4 Kids is a national, nonprofit foundation located in Rockland County that bakes and sells cookies to provide all-expense paid vacations for children with life threatening or terminal illnesses. Beginning Nov. 1 each year, volunteers throughout the county help sell their delicious chocolate chip cookies for about eight weeks (until the end of the year) or until the cookies run out. All the profits from this fundraising effort, along with additional donations, go toward surprising children with a week-long family vacation to all the theme parks in Orlando, FL, including Disney World. Thanks to Baking Memories 4 Kids, more than 200 families have been able to create amazing, lifelong memories that provide some much-needed comfort during their challenging journeys.

Baking Memories 4 Kids was founded by Frank Squeo in 2012 after he went through his own battle with cancer. When he was deemed cancer-free, he realized his bigger purpose was to help children going through the same type of battle. He decided to combine his love of baking chocolate chip cookies with his mission to provide comfort for children that had prognoses far worse than his own. Some of these terminally ill children have little to no memories of life without sickness and Squeo wanted to give them an experience they would never forget. He knows “these vacations will never erase the ordeals that these families have endured, but maybe for just a moment they will be able to put aside those thoughts and focus on the joy of living and create some positive memories,” he says—like the ones that sustained him through his own cancer battle. Squeo can often be found outside his home in Valley Cottage selling cookies and has even turned his own basement into a shipping and receiving department for the cookies to be packed and sent out to customers. 

One of the core members of the nonprofit is Squeo’s cousin Christina Metz, the senior vice president of Baking Memories 4 Kids. She enthusiastically describes the joy she and other volunteers receive from being able to give something back to their “Cookie Kids.” “We provide opportunities for these children to make memories and bond as a family. We don’t just provide a vacation, we help create memories that make a difference in the lives of these children and their families,” she says. “Helping these kids also brings meaning to our lives, not only because we are giving back but also because it reminds us to appreciate what we have and not sweat the small stuff.” Metz works year-round on fundraising, partnering with local businesses, and reviewing nominations for families.

How You Can Get Involved with Baking Memories 4 Kids

Baking Memories 4 Kids began with a few family members asking for donations in the community and then spread by word of mouth. Each year, the group of 20-25 core volunteers who “become like family” return along with new recruits to continue their mission. The foundation depends on their volunteers, the backbone of the organization, which can consist of 150-200 a day needed to bake the cookies. They have received a lot of support from Rockland corporations and local businesses, as well as high school and college students, teachers, and sports coaches who have gotten involved. If you’re not volunteering with the actual baking and selling of the cookies, there are several other ways to get involved in Baking Memories 4 Kids: 



1. Spread the word about Baking Memories 4 Kids! 

Cookies are great holiday gifts, they make great hostess gifts, and they are easy to purchase if you are attending a cookie exchange. Also, 70 percent of the total sales are corporate gifts, so let local businesses know about the opportunity to give employees a unique gift while making a difference in their community.

2. Purchase cookies or make donations.

You can buy cookies online at bakingmemories4kids.com or find out which local stores, delis, and bakeries are partnering to sell the cookies on the Baking Memories 4 Kids Facebook Page. There will also be pop-up shops around the county! If you want to donate to the organization without buying cookies, Metz recommends holding a fundraiser, like a “good, old-fashioned bake sale,” and donating the proceeds to the nonprofit. 

3. Nominate a family.

Anyone can nominate a child with a life-threatening illness, that hasn’t received a wish yet, and are between the ages of 3-18. The organization is always working toward sending more families on amazing trips. Baking Memories 4 Kids begins taking nominations in January.

4. Sign up to volunteer with Baking Memories 4 Kids.

Even though the sales of the cookies will end after Christmas, there will still be many opportunities for volunteers. Baking Memories 4 Kids will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary in April 2022, and it’s planning a big event at the Palisades Mall. The nonprofit will be looking forward to accepting volunteers to help with this and other events throughout the year. 

It is truly heartwarming to read the stories and testimonials from the children and families that have benefited from this organization. Watching the videos of the moment these struggling children hear the surprising news that they will be going on their dream vacation reminds us that small efforts on our part can make a huge difference. With every dollar donated, a memory is created. 

For more information about Baking Memories 4 Kids, follow the nonprofit on Facebook and Instagram. And purchase cookies at bakingmemories4kids.com.


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Kate O'Sullivan

Author: Kate O’Sullivan is an editor for RocklandParent.com. For the past 24 years, she has taught ELA to special education middle-school students and for the past 15 years she has been planning fun after-school and weekend activities for her three children in and around Pearl River. What better way to combine her two passions than researching and writing about fun, local events?! See More

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