You only have through this weekend to help put a smile on a child’s face by simply eating a cookie with a smile on it. 

Tim Hortons Smile Cookie campaign runs through Sunday, with the Winkler and Morden restaurants again supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Pembina Valley (BBBS). 100% of the proceeds from Smile Cookie sales support charities and organizations across the country. Last year, Tim Hortons restaurants across Canada raised a record breaking $15 million for over 600 local charities and community groups. 

BBBS Executive Director Jenelle Neufeld says the organization is in a good position right now. 

“I would say we're standing at a pretty good caseload right now,” she explained. “We have about 35 kids mentored so far this year, which is fantastic, but there's always a need for more. We have struggled to find volunteers, so we do have quite a wait list of kids that need mentoring, but we did just start our teen in school mentoring. That’s having a high school student matched with a younger student, and we're just hoping that will allow us to get some kids off the wait list that way.” 

Neufeld notes 20,000 cookies sold locally is the goal this year. 

“Imagine 20,000 smiles on cookies,” she said with a smile. “The tagline is Buy a Smile, Give a Smile, so I think it's just such an easy way to support an organization like ours, and you can pay it forward. It is Pay It Forward May, so buy yourself a cookie, buy the person behind you in the drive through a cookie, and it goes to a great cause.” 

Neufeld noted they are always in need of volunteers, and she would love to hear from anyone in the community interested. She pointed out there is a somewhat lengthy screening process, but that’s because the entire mentoring program is about creating a relationship with another person. 

“It's just spending time with the person that we match you with, whether that’s on evenings or weekends,” she said. “We aim to have two to four outings a month. We understand life gets in the way, and sometimes that's not always obtainable, but that’s usually our goal.” 

She stressed that if you are someone who has always been interested in volunteering, but didn't think you had the time to commit, still please contact her. 

“(We can), go through what it would realistically look for you to become a volunteer,” she explained. “If you even have an hour or two a month, anything is better than nothing. We are always very willing to have conversations with people who just might be interested. We are also interested to hear what is holding people back from potentially wanting to be a volunteer. Is it the time commitment? Is it the screening process? Whatever that might be, (I’m) always willing to have conversations.” 

Meanwhile, the Tim Hortons in Carman is raising money for South Central Cancer Resource, and the Morris location is supporting Red River Wellness. 

- With files from Nicole Klassen -