A comedian from Cincinnati, Ohio, is in the news thanks to his Cookies for Christian project, a charitable endeavor with a truly surprising origin story.
Mark Chalifoux, a comedian and dad of two, found himself in a situation that’s increasingly common these days: he was accidentally added to a group text with a bunch of strangers.
Wrong-number text message are more common than ever. Usually, these accidental messages are just ignored.
However, from time to time, they lead to a lasting connection, like we saw with the adorable grandma who accidentally invited a stranger to Thanksgiving, and then insisted that he stop by for real!
In Mark’s case, he was added to another family’s group message, and couldn’t seem to communicate that he wasn’t actually related to them.
Finally, he just embraced his newfound digital clan, especially after he learned that one of their young members, Christian, was about to be shipped overseas for six months.
When he heard that Christian’s unit was about to be deployed, Mark decided he had to do something for the young man — and that’s how Cookies for Christian was born.
Family is family, after all!
Meet Mark Chalifoux, a comedian and dad-of-two from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Recently, Mark found himself in the spotlight after starting a charitable crowdsourcing campaign that is as silly as it is sweet.
It’s called Cookies for Christian, and the stated aim is to raise the money to buy 3,000 Oreo cookies and ship them to a young deployed soldier named Christian.
According to Mark’s fundraising page for the project, it all started when he was added to a random family’s group message.
At first, he was just getting sporadic posts about toddler cousins and family gift ideas. He tried to communicate that he wasn’t part of the family, but his newfound digital relatives weren’t having it.
His text saying “I don’t know why I’m part of this!” was met with the response, “Because you’re family!”
Mark decided to just accept the sweet texts and move on, until the day he got a photo message of uniformed men with the caption, “Christian and his unit shipping out for six months.”
For about a month, Mark didn’t hear anything further about Christian or his deployment, until he suddenly got a lengthy text explaining all of the procedures for sending a care package to Christian while he’s deployed.
As Mark puts it:
I don’t want to let down the person this family thinks they’ve been texting, so I’m raising money to send this soldier 3,000 cookies.
I don’t know a thing about this guy. He might like my favorite TV show, or my favorite sports team, which would make him a pretty cool dude.
Does he even like cookies? There’s simply no way to know.
Why 3,000? You’re really asking too many questions.
The idea is simple, and it’s just a sweet and silly way to show a brave young men who is thousands of miles from home that lots of people care about him, including complete strangers.
Mark chose 3,000 cookies at random. He calculates that, at $3 for a standard-sized package of 36 Oreos, he’s looking at about 84 boxes of Oreos, and around $250, “with [any] leftover money going toward shipping to whatever part of the world he’s currently deployed, defending our freedom.”
Wherever Christian is, we hope he likes Oreos!
While he probably won’t be able to eat 3,000 of the sandwich cookies by himself, we’re sure that the other people in his unit will definitely appreciate sharing in a taste of home.
Mark doesn’t know where Christian is right this moment, but whether he’s in Guam or the Middle East, we’re confident that the cookies will find him.
There may even be more cookies than initially estimated. Mark has already rocketed past his original fundraising goal: those Oreo donations just keep climbing!
Mark created a GoFundMe page for his project, where he explains his sweet and silly goal:
There are a lot of great charities out there, and a lot of great causes.
This is not one of them.
This really doesn’t even make much sense if you think about it too long.
It’s just a way to do something nice for a total stranger.
There’s a lot messed up in this world.
Take a minute to put some positive energy out there.
Give people something to believe in. And buy some cookies for a guy none of us have ever met.
If you agree that the world could always be a little bit kinder and a little bit sweeter, be sure to SHARE Mark’s project to spread the word and inspire people everywhere to create their own care packages for our men and women in uniform!