Smile cookies are back at Tim Hortons for the ninth year, with local proceeds supporting the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.
The annual campaign kicked off on Monday (Sept. 19) and will see 100 per cent of proceeds from chocolate chunk cookie sales at 23 Tim Hortons restaurants across the Capital Regional District go directly to Jeneece Place, a house on the grounds of Victoria General Hospital that provides a place for families who travel to the region for medical care to stay.
“We have families travelling from places like Port Hardy, Port Alice, Campbell River and all the way down,” Veronica Carroll, CEO of Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, told Black Press Media. “It’s often a time of great stress for families that stay at the house, so the dollars this week, through this fantastic program, go directly to support families who need to stay at Jeneece Place. Last year we raised almost $40,000 in cookie sales which was phenomenal. And this year we’re hoping to completely blow that out of the water.”
Owned and operated by the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, Jeneece Place has a kitchen, dining, living and play rooms, 10 bedrooms and a backyard where parents and their kids can feel at home during often stressful times.
Jeneece Place hosts around 350 families each year on average and it’s hosted more than 2,760 families since opening its doors back in 2012.
But there’s a financial barrier for some, noted Carroll.
“We do have a $25 per night charge for families to stay at the house. But for some, that is a financial barrier,” she said. “These funds enable us to really support families who are unable to pay for that $25. Without the support of donor dollars, we wouldn’t be able to operate the house. This is really a part of that support that goes into the operations on a day-to-day basis.”
Cookies can be purchased in-store and at the drive-through at participating locations. They can also be ordered online for pick-up or through the Tim Hortons mobile app for delivery.
A map of participating restaurants as well as order forms can be found online at islandkidsfirst.com/jeneece-place.
The fundraiser runs through Sunday, Sept. 25.