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Spreading Holiday Cheer Through Baking

A Chat with Mary Berg and her Role with Milk & Cookies

— December 6, 2019 — Lifestyle
Mary Berg and Samsung Canada work together to support the SickKids' Milk & Cookies campaign. The trio brings attention to the ‘Milk & Cookies’ initiative in order to raise awareness around the challenges that children and their families face when receiving treatment away from home. The campaign also raises funds to support these families in spreading cheer as the holiday season becomes closer in sight.

Children begin their countdown to the arrival of Santa and to ensure that Santa will notice them, Samsung Canada taps Mary Berg and some helpers from SickKids to bake an unforgettable cookie. We chatted with Mary about the heart-warming campaign and how donors can help.

Can you tell us a little bit about the Milk & Cookies campaign and what led to its fruition?

With the holidays around the corner, children everywhere are anxiously waiting for Santa, and the children at SickKids are no different. That said, one of the challenges for SickKids patients is that they worry that Santa may not find them while they receive treatment away from home, and no child should worry that Santa won’t find them.

That’s why I partnered with Samsung - we wanted to help alleviate some of these fears by creating a cookie so amazing that there is no way Santa could miss it! With some very special assistants from SickKids, we baked an unforgettable cookie for Santa in the Samsung test kitchen at the Samsung Experience Store, CF Toronto Eaton Centre.

What role did you play with the campaign and what were some impacts of it?

Holiday baking has the power to bring people together – and the holidays can be an especially challenging time for children and families who are receiving treatment away from home. I was excited to work with Samsung and SickKids to help share some holiday cheer with these brave children by bringing their “unforgettable cookie” to life.

We had so much fun baking up a storm in the Samsung test kitchen – our SickKids patient ambassadors chose their favourite ingredients, from marshmallows to gummy worms and SO many chocolate chips!

I am so inspired by their energy and optimism of these kids – they remind me of my brother’s time at SickKids and how every single person at that hospital works so hard to make everyone feel cared for, loved, and special. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to raise awareness for the work SickKids and Samsung are doing to support these children and their families. As the campaign is launching on National Cookie Day, we’re hoping that Canadians can donate and help us spread the word to bring a little extra cheer to the patients at SickKids during the holidays.

What is the cookie recipe? How did you come up with it?

My Unforgettable Sugar Cookie Recipe for Santa is your classic holiday sugar cookie. Because everyone has their own interpretation of what makes an “unforgettable” cookie, I wanted to come up with a recipe that can be easily customized by choosing any add-ins you would like. My personal favourite? Candy cane pieces with some white and milk chocolate drizzled on top. So yummy and perfect for Santa!

Do you have specific rituals for resetting to be creative?

To be honest, my favourite thing to reset has always been cooking and baking but now that that is my main job, I’ve had to find a few other ways to relax and unwind to get my creativity flowing again. This might not sound like it’s everyone’s cup of tea, but I love bird watching. It’s something that uses all of my senses, forces me to be quiet and listen, and really just feel connected to nature and myself. This, combined with making something delicious that I just know off by heart is the perfect combo for a creative reset.

How can donors contact SickKids and Samsung Canada to be of help?

Donors can donate in-store to support the campaign at Samsung Experience Stores located at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, CF Sherway Gardens and CF Yorkdale. Donors can also donate directly to SickKids at sickkidsfoundation.com/samsung. What is exciting is that Samsung will match individual donations to the program made from December 4 -24, 2019 up to a total of $25,000!
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