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About the Brigade
How do I know you’re not trying to poison me?
Wait, you mean you don’t want the cookie that gives +2 charisma but causes a measly 3 rads? Darn. But seriously, no we’re not trying to poison you and we provide guidelines to our volunteer bakers for properly wrapping their food. With that said the donated items we give out are not from a commercial bakery, so if you have serious allergies or concerns you can forgo the treat. We’re like a large mobile bake sale, only its free.
Are you sponsored or managed by Child’s Play or Penny Arcade?
No we are a wholly separate and often times renegade charity organization. We have no affiliation with Child’s Play or Penny Arcade other then to pass on the insane amount of money donated through us.
How did the brigade get its start?
Back in 2007 two PAX attendees decided to bring tasty cookies with them to give out to other attendees. As they were handing out cookies people insisted on giving them money for the delicious cookie. Those two first brigadiers decided to give that money to Child’s Play and the cookie brigade was born.
I received this awesome cookie at PAX! I really want to know who made it or the recipe! Can you give me that information?
We might be able to but we suggest checking out our forum and the recipe section and posting to ask. Our volunteer bakers are almost always happy to share their recipes and they certainly appreciate the praise.
So if you give 100% of the donated money to Child’s Play how come I’ve seen other fundraisers to raise money for Brigade activities?
While the cost of most of our activities are handled by our volunteers and members we do occasionally run up against a prohibitive cost barrier. In those cases we run mini fundraisers to let everyone help crowd fund our fundraising activities. Any money left over from those fundraisers is donated to Child’s Play. We attempt to keep all costs down and as minimal as possible and for most of our activities the costs are absorbed by our volunteers.
Does the brigade attend or participate in other events?
The brigade has been involved with Desert Bus in the past and we’re definitely open to participating at other events! If you have an idea for another event we can attend please join us on our forums to discuss your idea!
So the cookies are free?
What exactly does the Cookie Brigade do?
We have volunteers that make delicious treats, cookies, candy, you name it, and we then give those items out for free. While we’re handing out tasty treats we also take donations for Child’s Play. 100% of the money we collect goes directly to the Child’s Play charity to buy gaming equipment, games, movies and other items for children in hospitals.
What exactly does volunteering entail? Will I need to agree to a shift? Do I need tickets to attend the event? Is any of this tax deductible?
Volunteers can either bake and provide tasty items for us to give out, distribute tasty items at an event, or both. We also have organizer roles for people who are able to volunteer more time to keeping the brigade running. In general if you are just baking you won’t need to purchase a ticket and you won’t be required to attend the event, you will need to ship the items to the event or arrange to drop them off. If you plan to distribute or help with organizing its likely you will require a ticket to the event. As far as schedules go distributors are not scheduled and you are free to donate as many hours of your time at the event as you please. For organizers time will be scheduled and you can let us know how much time you can donate (more information on this coming soon!).
As for taxes, I’ll preface this as I am not a tax person, with that said while your time for the brigade is not tax deductible any money you spend SOLELY for the purposes of raising money for charity is. This includes travel expenses, mileage, hotel charges and even your event tickets. This is not the case if you are also vacationing/attending the event. I advise you speak to your tax advisor for guidance.
Okay I submitted my application, now what?
First off, yay! Applications take 24-72 hours, the organizers will look over it and if they need clarification they’ll send you a PM. If it takes longer then 24-72 hours then feel free to post in our general chat area. Our organizers/admins are all volunteers and occasionally real life (pesky jobs) gets ahold of them. A gentle reminder helps a lot!
Joining seems easy, why exactly do I need to apply? Why can’t I just show up and participate?
The Cookie Brigade operates covertly at all Penny Arcade Expo’s. We’re not authorized to be there and there are groups that would very much like to see us go away. For that reason we keep all of our planning secret and require all brigadiers to go through a simple application process to verify you’re not nefarious. It helps if you are already active on our forums or with other charity groups before you apply but its not necessary. Just think of us as cookie ninjas.
Alright I’m sold! How do I volunteer and get involved?