OXO’s connection to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer runs deep. When two-year-old Liam Witt was diagnosed with childhood cancer in 2007, his parents, OXOnians Gretchen and Larry Witt, were shocked to learn about the lack of effective treatments for pediatric cancers due to insufficient funding. They pledged to support funding for new, improved and most importantly less toxic treatments for kids battling all types of pediatric cancers. With the help of 250 volunteers, many of them fellow OXOnians, Liam’s parents undertook a massive bake-a-thon where they baked and sold 96,000 cookies to raise money for research.
That bake sale became the genesis of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer (CFKC), a nonprofit committed to raising funds for pediatric cancer research through grassroots bake sales and other fundraising efforts.
To honor 10 years of partnership with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, we asked OXOnians to reflect on their favorite CFKC memories.
Francoise, Product Development (above, Francoise in 2008 at the Cookies for Kids' Cancer Bake Sale):
“I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to participate in the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sales from the beginning. When I started, I was an extra set of hands. If they wanted people to bake a batch or two in the office, I was there. If they wanted us to take frozen cookie dough home to bake, I was there. Need help wrapping? I was there.
2011 was devastating for the whole office, and that is when Benat and I decided to run our own bake sale during the Hoboken Arts & Music Festival. I remember there being so much to coordinate, from securing a spot from the city to setting up our donations page and recruiting volunteers for baking and selling. OXOnians came through, as did our local bakeries, friends, family, and design partners.
At the time, both Benat and I had young kids of our own who also joined us that day. It was challenging and exhausting; a day filled with a range of emotions. I was touched by people who decided to donate and asked for nothing in return or by someone who shared their own story of survival and recovery from pediatric cancer. In the end, we had an extremely successful day, more than doubling our goal.
When I look at where Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is today, I am in awe of what it has become and what they have been able to accomplish.”
Conor, Engineering (above, 2014 Montclair, NJ, bake sale):
“My most vivid memories are of a jam-packed tiny commercial kitchen in New York with volunteers squeezing past each other with trays of dough and finished cookies, while myself and a few others were stooped over in a corner washing tray after tray. There was a tremendous feeling of camaraderie and hopefulness. It’s so great to see how the organization has grown into something that has had a deeply significant impact.”
Benat, Product Development (above, 2009 Cookies for Kids' Cancer Bake Sale):
“I was lucky enough to have known Liam Witt and worked with his parents when the terrible news was shared that Liam was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 2 years old. I remember returning to my desk and crying and wondering how this could happen. When I learned that cancer was the #1 disease killer in the US, I was saddened and distraught that this wasn’t common knowledge.”
“One of my fondest bake sale memories was holding a bake sale in my hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey. My fellow New Jersey co-workers banded together to get donations from local businesses, baked sweets and worked in shifts during the weekend to raise money and get the word out about this wonderful cause and organization. Raising money for pediatric cancer with my co-workers and their families is one of my favorite memories at OXO.”
Feeling inspired? Learn more about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and how you can help Bake a Difference and raise funds for pediatric cancer treatment.