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VIDEO: Annual cookie campaign keeps smiles on faces of Vancouver Island kids

Greater Victoria campaign supports Jeneece Place, a home-away-from-home for families

Monday mornings rarely mean smiles, except when there are cookies that support local families. The Tim Hortons’ Smile Cookie campaign kicks off in Greater Victoria Monday (April 29) raising funds for the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.

“Every cookie you enjoy will benefit an Island kid,” said Shelley Engelhardt, foundation director of development.

Now through May 5, proceeds from Smile Cookies sold at 21 participating Tim Hortons in the Capital Regional District support Jeneece Place.

“The Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island works to eliminate barriers to accessing healthcare for island kids,” Engelhardt said. “We really work hard to keep families close when their children are in need of medical care.”

One way they do that is through home-away-from-home programs, such as Jeneece Place adjacent to Victoria General Hospital in View Royal and Qwalayu House in Campbell River.

“These are comfortable and welcoming accommodations for families to stay so they can be close to their kids while they’re seeking healthcare in those communities. We also support families through our bare essentials program which helps to eliminate some of these stress related to travel and the cost of expensive medical equipment,” Engelhardt said.

RELATED: Jeneece Place celebrates 10 years of offering Island families a ‘safe landing place’

Since 2012, Jeneece Place has provided a home away from home for more than 3,000 Island families – including one that stayed for 161 nights.

This is the 11th year the cookie campaign has supported the local health foundation, raising more than $440,885 over the past decade – equating to more than 2,300 night stays at Jeneece Place.

“Our annual Smile Cookie campaign is a beloved and cherished tradition for Tim Hortons restaurant owners, team members and guests because of the amazing impact we can make together – while enjoying some delicious cookies,” Tim Hortons president Axel Schwan said. “Last year’s Smile Cookie campaign raised a record-breaking $19.7 million and I know our guests will be rallying with us again this year to support over 600 charities and community groups and the amazing work they do.”

Cookie campaigns across North America have raised more than $111 million for hospitals, community care organizations, food banks and schools since 1996.

The fundraising treat is available in-store across Greater Victoria.

“If you really want to indulge you can order them in bulk,” Engelhardt said.

Find that order form at

RELATED: Smile cookies raise cash for Island kids, families facing health crises

Smile cookie purchases support families in Greater Victoria and beyond, says Shelley Engelhardt, director ofdevelopment for the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

Longtime journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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