Queen of Hospitality Distributes Cookies for Cops: 60 Pounds of Heartfelt Thanks
In May of this year, Cathy Foley, move-in coordinator at Bristol Glen, received the United Methodist Homes Hospitality Award for demonstrating the spirit of unconditional love, care; taking responsibility, following up diligently to enact solutions, and going above and beyond to make everyone feel welcomed. So, it’s no surprise that Foley got an idea, sparked by a September news broadcast about the generosity of a New Jersey pizza restaurant owner to police officers. After sharing the idea with her husband, she called her four adult children to get advice and test the idea — they unanimously agreed and lauded her plan, bringing “Cookies for Cops” to fruition.
Foley, a resident of Sparta, has been baking cookies since she was 12 years old and always wanted to own a cookie shop. In fact, a fellow associate remarked, “As move-in coordinator and concierge, Cathy always has a smile, a plate of cookies and an open heart when welcoming new residents to Bristol Glen.” As an empty-nester with a full-time job, the very-humble Foley loves baking cookies, usually at home in the evening. Her tradition of sharing the homemade cookies with fellow associates spreads goodwill.
Sarah Ur, Bristol Glen’s executive director, had sampled Foley’s cookies, most recently at an onsite ladies’ fashion show. Foley shared the idea with Ur, who suggested she begin by inviting some local police departments to Bristol Glen. Receiving cookies through their established trust with Bristol Glen, made it a perfect match. Cathy chose to bake them during the month of November because it represents a time of giving thanks. A promptly delivered invitation brought associates, volunteers, residents and their families into Bristol Glen’s Town Hall for a presentation. It proved to be the perfect partnership as the residents lined up to greet and personally thank officers for their service.
Through their connections and networking representatives from the Sparta and Newton police departments came to the kick-off, as well as the Sussex County Sheriff’s Department. Since then through a nephew, brother-in-law, friends, fellow associates, and word-of-mouth, many others have been recipients: Four New York Police Department precincts including its Counter Terrorism Task Force; Riverdale, NJ and Metropolitan Transit Authority police departments; as well as the New Jersey State Troopers Barracks in Newark and Hope.
The message delivered with each two-pound cookie platter reads, “Cookies for cops with heartfelt thanks for your courage and your love of community, always remember how many eyes, big and small light up when you enter their world. May God keep you safe each and every day.” Cookie connoisseur feedback has ranked the Pecan Delight (a nut-filled shortbread cookie rolled in powdered sugar) on top, complemented by her Brownie Fingers and Chocolate Chip cookies.
With five to six dozen in each platter, Foley distributed about 60 pounds of delicious thanks in November. Taking it a step further, she also gave out goody bags of cookies to the in-person representatives to dissuade them from unwrapping the platters before arriving back at their respective workplaces.
Elated by the positive feedback beyond her expectations including comments posted on her Facebook page, Foley reflects, “Most of the police officers are just astonished. I have even received personal phone calls. I’m sure I will shed a few tears on Thanksgiving when I share my thankfulness for the ability to do this project.”