The Smile Cookie Campaign is coming to Peace River

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

Sometimes the world is a sad place to be, with stressors making it difficult for a person to smile through all their pain and sadness.

It’s why local woman Casey Szmata teamed up with Peace River Tim Hortons to host an annual campaign to raise funds to spread a little cheer and happiness, all while promoting mental health.

This year’s Smile Cookie Campaign is running from April 29 to May 5, and Szmata is hoping people will come out to support the campaign.

“We are planning to fund some very important programming for the Resource Centre for Suicide Prevention,” says Szmata of this year’s donation utilization.

“We want to be even busier than we have been over the past few years. We have some exciting volunteers lined up to give us a hand decorating and are really looking forward to the amazing conversations and ideas for suicide prevention.”

Szmata says many companies choose to do preorders of cookies in order to support the campaign and provide cookies to all their staff.

“There will be an order form available very soon,” says Szmata. “It will be on Facebook pages for Tim Hortons Peace River and Always Find a Reason to Smile, and, of course, from myself.”

The annual Smile Cookie Campaign is a cross-Canada Tim Hortons initiative, set to help local non-profit organizations help fundraise desperately needed funds. In Peace River, the annual campaign has helped to raise money for suicide awareness and mental health concerns with the Always Find a Reason to Smile group.

“This is really our only fundraiser for Always Find a Reason to Smile Suicide Awareness & Prevention,” says Szmata.

“Suicide can happen to anyone, any family. Unfortunately, our family has learned that, as we have suffered through two devastating losses. The more we can start conversations and normalize conversations around mental health and suicide, the more lives we can save.”

Last year the Always Find a reason to Smile team worked tirelessly right up to the campaign deadline, managing to raise over $40,000. Szmata hopes this year they can raise even more money.

“Life isn’t always easy, and sometimes we all need a hand to hold,” she says.

“Kindness is free, let’s share it.”

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