By Linda Dillman
First responders are generally on the giving end when it comes to service, but a cookie drive by residents of the Greenfield Place community in Groveport put Groveport police and Madison Township firefighters on the receiving end of dozens of baked goodies.
Barbara Monk organized the drive and invited fellow residents to show thanks for services provided by the two departments with donated cookies, cakes and pies.
A handful of participants also included cards of appreciation, including one artistic resident who illustrated and hand colored her own design.
“I needed the services of the EMS three times recently,” said Monk as she tended to plates of chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies, snickerdoodles, brownie cupcakes and candy before boxing them up for delivery. “And I was involved in a cookie bake a few times before I moved here. Since I suggested this venture, I wanted it to be a success; therefore I had to do my part.”
When asked why it was important to her to honor local firefighter/paramedics and police officers, Monk said the answer was simple, “They give services promptly, gently and with concern for my well-being.”
Barbara Epelbaum, echoed Monk’s sentiments as well.
“The medics took me to Grant Hospital when I was having a heart attack,” said Epelbaum. “What wonderful caregivers they were.”
Dottie Dillon, two years shy of 100, said the cookie drive was a good idea and felt more should be conducted. She contributed pumpkin cream cookies and admitted, “They’re not home baked, but at 98, I don’t trust my baking and these cookies are truly delicious.”
Kathryn Rathburn participated in the event as a way to “thank all of the people who everyday do the stressful task of helping other people.”
As they helped Monk gather up the cookies and cakes, Madison Township Fire Department Lt. Bob Schneider and fellow crew members thanked the Greenfield Place residents for their thoughtfulness.
“Usually, when we have to respond somewhere, it’s not for a good reason,” said Schneider. “To be able to come here for something like this is great.”
Greenfield Service Coordinator Valerie Tripp thought Monk’s incentive was a wonderful idea and hopes to make the first time event a regular occurrence. She felt the community interaction, without a medical emergency, was a nice way to honor first responders and, at the same time, provide an opportunity for an independent activity for residents.
“I am very happy with the response,” said Monk as the boxes of baked goods were carted out the door. “You never know when you start something new if people will participate, but they did.