Last semester, on Dec. 1, 2020, President Fritz Erickson organized the delivery of cookies to the workers in the UP Health System-Marquette to thank them for their service during the pandemic. Now, a few months later, the President’s Office and Center for Student Enrichment will be expanding this original idea to encompass school teachers, staff, nursing homes and first responders, including the police and fire department.
“We wanted to thank them for everything they have done throughout COVID-19. This is very similar to what happened last semester when Northern gave out all those cookies to the hospital and I believe they gave cookies to the NMU police force also,” Dallas St. Onge, junior speech, language and hearing science major and Superior Edge Volunteer Center Coordinator, said. “We just wanted to thank them for all that they have done for the community and how they have stayed strong.”
CSE is thanking all of these community members by sending a combination of brownies and cookies to 12 different locations, including five schools and three nursing homes, on April 8 and 9. They teamed up with Dining Services to order a total number of 875 desserts; half of which are cookies and the other half brownies.
“Dining is fulfilling the order and they are also going to package all of the cookies into really nicely decorated gift boxes,” St. Onge said.
Similar to last semester, Erickson will be including thank-you cards with the gift boxes as well, St. Onge said.
The desserts will be hand delivered by students who signed up to visit specific locations. Mackenzie Meyer, senior Spanish and English secondary education double major, chose to deliver cookies to the staff at Bothwell Middle School in order to reconnect with the people who have made an impact on her college experience.
“I specifically chose Bothwell because [I am on] the women’s volleyball team on campus [and] we worked with Bothwell in the past. I was the head coach for the 7th graders last year before COVID-19 hit, and sadly we have not been able to come back but we miss everyone,” Meyer said. “So we just wanted to give back. They supported us for so long so we wanted to be able to support them too.”
Sydney Wickstrom, junior elementary education language arts major, will also be delivering cookies to Bothwell and is looking forward to seeing kids and teachers in a classroom again.
“In one of my education classes right now, I am supposed to be going into the classroom and actually observing students and connecting it back to what I am learning, but because of COVID-19 we can’t get in the classroom,” Wickstrom said. “It will be a nice opportunity to get into the classroom and also be able to give back to the teachers.”
As an education major, Wickstrom says she recognizes the stress and changes teachers have experienced during the pandemic. She hopes parents and guardians of children have also gained a greater appreciation for teachers as everyone has had to adapt to online learning after COVID-19.
“Especially right now with COVID-19, having to go back and forth between online or being at home or there are some students that have to Zoom in to class, having to learn how to incorporate the Zoom people while still having to doing your job and teaching your lesson can be really difficult,” Wickstrom said. “We are showing them that we are supporting them and thankful for what they have been doing.”
St. Onge has chosen to deliver cookies to the Norlite Nursing Home that she has volunteered at in the past as well as Sandy Knoll Elementary School that she has worked with. She hopes these deliveries will express how thankful Northern is for the work all of these groups have done throughout their careers and continuing to work through the pandemic.
“I personally think this is a really important thing for Northern to do because the groups that we are targeting with this have remained so strong throughout the pandemic. They have shifted with all of the changes that they have had to go through,” St. Onge said.
The Marquette nursing homes were struggling particularly at the beginning of the pandemic and they have made significant improvements in containing COVID-19 over the past few months, St. Onge said. Delivering cookies is the least they could do to show their appreciation, she said.
“It is honestly a great thing it’s just to tell them ‘we see you, we hear you, we appreciate all that you have done,’” St Onge said.