Eleven-year-old Angel Rosas and her 6-year-old brother, Ronaldo engaged in a somewhat unusual project over the summer.
They baked 1,500 cookies and delivered them around the Tampa Bay area.
It was their way of spreading kindness, and unconditional love, to those they encountered.
Their mom, Christine, came up with the idea for the project.
But, the kids were involved in everything from coming up with a tagline, designing a graphic and shooting a YouTube video.
They called the project Kookies 4 Kindness.
They wore T-shirts emblazoned with the logo.
They created a label for the plastic bag holding the cookies. It read: “We baked these cookies with love. It it is our hope that you share the same unconditional love with at least one person. Love, Angel and Ronaldo Rosas.”
The kids also baked the cookies, made from store-bought dough, in the kitchen of their Seven Oaks home in Wesley Chapel.
That’s where they bagged them up, too.
Then, they made deliveries to Tarpon Springs, to the Waffle House in Wesley Chapel and to Ybor City and the fire station there.
They also visited two Trinity Cafés, the Dade City Police Station, The Well, Corpus Christi School, and recruiting stations for the Navy, Air Force and the Marines.
They dropped by a Hillary Clinton campaign office. They tried to visit a Donald Trump campaign office, but they couldn’t find it.
They gave cookies to all kinds of people. Some were young; others, old.
Some wore military uniforms; others, tank tops.
One wore a cowboy hat; another, a baseball cap.
They gave cookies to men, women and children. Some were white, others black, Hispanic or Asian.
As the kids approached people, some were friendly and readily accepted their offering.
Others were warier.
Some thought there was some sort of catch, Angel said.
She attributes their suspicion to the clipboard her mom was carrying around.
Christine had the clipboard because she wanted to get the email address for anyone wanting a link to the YouTube video they planned to post about the project.
Once the clipboard was kept out of sight, people dropped their guard, Angel said.
There were some that turned down the cookies, Angel said. “Some people said they had allergies,” she said.
“Some people thought they had to pay for them,” Angel added. “We said, ‘No. No. We’re just passing them out. Their faces just kind of lit up, and they said, ‘Oh, thanks.’”
While they didn’t come up with the project themselves, the kids had ideas about where they should go.
Rolando wanted to help the poor and to make a stop at Corpus Christi, where he’s in first grade.
Angel, a sixth-grader who attends the same school, wanted to be sure to deliver the chocolate chip cookies to people who serve in the military and work in law enforcement.
“To find police officers was tricky. They were all out,” Christine said. Finally, they just dropped off some cookies at the Dade City Police Department.
And, the department acknowledged the kindness by sending a thank you note.
Christine hopes that the project will leave an impression on her kids.
She knows, in some ways, it already has.
“After the first day we went out, she (Angel) said, ‘You know mom, the people with all of those tattoos and piercings — they’re softies.’”
The whole idea is to introduce some kindness into a world that obviously needs it, Christine said.
“We have traveled a lot. We’ve lived in Australia and Saudi Arabia. We just came back to the U.S., in January,” she said.
She didn’t realize how many places in public continually play the news, she said.
“They’re constantly seeing all of this violence on the news and on the TV, and it makes them fearful,” Christine said.
“I just feel that there’s so much noise going on with a lot of different situations. We don’t need to be treating each other this way.
“I wanted them to see and experience positivity,” she said.
See the YouTube video of two kids sharing 1,500 cookies to spread kindness in Tampa Bay at tinyurl.com/hmlbuhl.
Published August 31, 2016