My name is Renee and I’d like to take you on a tasty journey showing you the power of one small act of kindness and how it can grow to make a bigger difference in the lives of others, including yourself. Many of you have found this page from being on the receiving end of my cookie project and many of you are friends of mine that are curious just what the heck I’m doing with this experiment and what it’s all about. Well, you’ve come to the right place!
Many of you know that I’m a singer. Renee = singer/performer = Renee. I love singing, I live singing, I would die without it, or at least be very miserable. I am lucky enough to support myself through my singing and musical talents and have jobs singing at a church and also teaching voice at a music school in Manhattan. I audition and perform when I land roles. My sister will tell you that I perform even when I have no specific role that I’m playing, hehe. I live in Astoria in a beautiful apartment with a great roommate. I LOVE my life.
But, something was missing. Because of what I do, my schedule is very “fluid” (read: ever changing with weird pockets of free time). I thought about getting a part time job, but who wants to hire me for Sunday afternoons, Wednesdays and Fridays before 2? So, I started baking, more than usual. The folks at my school, church and Sorriso’s can attest to this. I have always enjoyed baking; simple things like my mother’s famous Heitmann Cookies, or more complex things like from scratch vanilla cupcakes with raspberry frosting made from macerated raspberries. I started just whipping up various thing for the hell of it and sharing them with those that I appreciate – my co workers, and hardworking business owners and employee around the neighborhood. Then it dawned on me – what if i made this a thing? Hmm, how would I structure it, or parlay this into something lasting? I had been looking for a productive and positive way to use my time and talents, and this seemed like the perfect venture.
So, Single Girl Cookies was born. Here’s the deal: Every week, I take a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies to a different Astoria business. I drop them off on a real plate and tell them I’ll be back in a few days to pick up my plate and when I do, they have to tell me the name of a business they think deserves the next batch. And so it goes. There’s no catch, I don’t want anything from this, just the satisfaction of making people happy. It makes me happy to bake and give, and my cookies, in turn, make people happy. I like the idea of using a real plate that says, first of all, I’ll be back and you’re not disposable. It’s my small way of investing in this beautiful neighborhood and telling people, Hey, you’re worth it. I like to patronize the business when I do come back, and it introduces me to places I’ve been meaning to try but haven’t gotten around to yet. The project also has another layer of community building by making one business recommend another. It’s great walking into a place and saying, The guys over at ______ sent me here and thought you deserved these. So in a way, the project isn’t really mine, I’m just the vehicle for people to perform acts of kindness.
And there you have it. I hope that my project inspires others to be kind and aware, and affect some small change in my world.
One girl. One mission: To spread kindness and smiles one cookie at a time.
Copyright 2013, Renee Heitmann