Smile Cookie 2024 campaign donates over $170K to child and youth mental health at KHSC

The cheque presentation ceremony for the 2024 Smile Cookie campaign took place at Kingston General Hospital. Photo via UHKF.

On the morning of Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2024, health care professionals from Kingston Health Sciences Center (KHSC) had reason to smile, thanks to the presentation of a cheque for $177,413 from the Tim Hortons Smile Cookie campaign.

The money will support child and youth mental health programs at KHSC, according to a release from University Hospitals Kingston Foundation (UHKF), the charitable foundation supporting Kingston Health Sciences Centre and Providence Care.

The Smile Cookie campaign ran from April 29 to May and saw all Kingston-area Tim Hortons restaurants donate 100 per cent of their Smile Cookie sales.

“This is the second year in a row we’ve raised money for child and youth mental health services and I am tremendously proud that we have given more than $400,000 over those two years,” said local Tim Hortons restaurant owner Sherri Agnew.

Kingstonist file photo.

“Today’s kids and teens are experiencing challenging childhoods that my generation never faced—from dealing with harmful effects of social media to a global pandemic. Thanks to all our guests for helping support this great cause. The Kingston community is truly amazing!”

According to the release, Smile Cookie funds from last year were used by KHSC to purchase comfort and treatment items such as weighted blankets, therapy workbooks, art supplies, fidget spinners, specialized toys, and sensory items. Exercise bikes and small trampolines were also purchased, giving youth a way to stay active and release pent-up energy. Board games, puzzles, Lego and Play-Doh were bought and are used as tools to promote social interaction.

This is the 21st year that the local Tim Hortons have designated the proceeds of Smile Cookie Week to KHSC.

“It’s always difficult to find funding for our programs so we are incredibly grateful to Tim Hortons and the people of Kingston who supported the campaign,” said Nicholas Axas, Program Operational Director of Mental Health and Addiction Care at KHSC.

“This money will help give kids and teens the skills and tools they need to overcome their challenges, thrive and set them up for a successful future.”

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