Every month, a compassionate high school student bakes and delivers cookies to 20 of her neighbors to “make someone smile.”
Elise Chang, a student at Towson High School in Baltimore, MD, has been baking cookies and delivering them to various families in her area every month. Her purpose is to make her neighbors happy and to show them that someone cares about them.
“The other goal is to make connections with my neighborhood, and it’s going well!” Elise stated.
Elise bakes and then delivers tiny cookie surprise presents to around 20 homes in her town; some go to people she knows, while others go to neighbors she has yet to meet. She dubbed her cookie business “Tough Cookie Project” since the last few years have been difficult for many of us, and everyone deserves a treat for surviving them.
“The people who receive my cookies are people I know and people I don’t know.” “I’m trying to branch out and meet new neighbors,” she explained.
Elise includes a message with the cookies to introduce herself and explain the reason behind the biscuits.
“Hello! “My name is Elise Chang, and I am a rising senior at Towson High School,” she stated in her notes. “I’d like to share The Tough Cookie Service Project with you all.” I’ve been working on it since the fall of 2020. I was motivated after reaching out to friends and delivering cookie care packages to them. The epidemic and isolation we’ve all felt have shown me that people are immensely resilient. But it also made me understand how much more kindness is needed in the world. That is the main purpose of my project: to spread compassion (and cookies)! And, when life resumes normalcy, I hope the Tough Cookie Service Project inspires people to perform tiny acts of kindness for family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. As a result, tiny cookie parcels will begin to appear in our neighborhood! Elise Chang, from one tough cookie to another.”
Many people in her town were affected by the cookies and caring letters, and many of her neighbors delivered her thank-you notes.
“As a thank you for the cookies, a child sent me a cute letter and a painted rock.” She also promised to return the favor. “I’ve gotten letters and notes from kids and adults, neighbors and anonymous writers,” Elise explained.
“The first letter came from an older neighbor of mine, and she hadn’t been home when I dropped off the cookie care package, but she said she returned home and sobbed when she read it because it was a little check in, you know, someone reaching out and saying, ‘Hey! ‘I care for you!’ She stopped by and handed me a handwritten note saying that what I’m doing is fantastic, which encouraged me to keep going.”
Elise bakes chocolate chip cookies and has a unique method for keeping the cookies soft by adding butter and adjusting the baking temperature.
“They appear to be popular, and I enjoy making them.” I make Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies. My mom used to bake these all the time when I was kid, and it’s still my favorite.”
Elise finds satisfaction in interacting and giving presents, and she recognizes the need to practice compassion as often as possible.
“I’ve met more people than I could have imagined.” I’ve begun to perform more random acts of kindness throughout the day. More compassion is always needed in this world. Whether it’s a simple smile or a cookie, our acts have far more impact than we realize. Whatever happens, I am optimistic about the future. Amid a frantic, busy world, I’ve witnessed how resilient compassion is. “At the end of the day,” she remarked, “we’re all tough cookies.”
“I love random acts of kindness. You can just make someone smile when they weren’t originally or they’ll just be thinking about you or what you’ve done and want to continue giving kindness to others, which is really important to me.”