Sharon Karagozlu

Recently I received a letter from The Oasis asking for donations to help winterize the enclosures for your residents. I could spare a few dollars from my budget this month but after some unexpected expenses I only had an extra $10. Why bother, I thought. What difference can only $10 make? But I was going to send it anyway because every penny makes a difference to organizations such as The Oasis who have such high operating costs. Then I had an idea. I decided to invest it. I would use the $10 to buy ingredients to make cookies and then sell them at my work…’, ‘

I spent Sunday morning picking out recipes and making cookies for my husband to taste. In the end, I had four different kinds of cookies wrapped up neatly in cellophane with a ribbon. There were a total of 25 bags of cookies. I decorated a box for the cookies and a jar for the money and placed a sign that said each cookie bag is $2. On the outside of the box I placed a sign that read:

By purchasing these cookies you will help support The Oasis Sanctuary. The Oasis is a rescue and retirement facility located in Arizona that takes in disabled and unadoptable parrots that need a place to live out their natural lives. The Oasis is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to The Oasis. Thank you for your generosity.

The next day at work I was granted permission by the office manager and placed my cookies in the break room. That day I sold 9 bags of cookies. Not to mention that many people came up to me personally and asked me more about The Oasis and parrots in general. I was able to educate people who had no idea that such problems existed in aviculture. The next day my husband took the box to his workplace and also put it in the lunch room. He sold all of the cookies. My $10 had turned into $50!

I was so excited that I could send The Oasis a more substantial amount. It also got me thinking. What if The Oasis asked their supporters to hold a cookie sale? The list on your website is quite large. For example, if 50 people signed up to sell 25 bags each that would total $1,250. Or if 100 people signed up and they each sold 50 bags that would be $5,000. Also maybe The Oasis could have a list where people could sign up and commit to having a cookie sale once within a three-month period. That would provide a steady income. Or you could try to have one large national (done locally by each supporter) bake sale that hopefully most of the supporters could sign up for. It was so easy to do this. Many people have a job and a break room where they could put the cookies. I am not that great of a cook but it is almost effortless to follow a recipe. I have learned over the years that bird people are some of the most generous, kind, and compassionate people around. I believe that The Oasis could benefit greatly from this concept. Today when I walked into work the first question I heard was, “Hey Sharon did you bring those cookies that you were selling for the parrots today?” I said no but they will be back sometime in the near future. Looks like I already have a regular customer thanks to a little help from Martha Stewart and a little motivation from my friends at the Oasis.


Sharon Karagozlu