A 3-year-old from Stillwater, New York, has used her passion for baking to help bring joy to others during the coronavirus pandemic. Mia Villa and her mom, Devin Villa, have baked over 1,000 cookies since the start of the pandemic and delivered them to frontline and essential workers, her mom told CBS news via email.
"Mia has been helping me in the kitchen since she could stand up at the counter," Villa said. "I have pictures back as far as 18 months old. That was roughly when I started helping my mom as a kid and the same time she began to show interest in what I was doing so I let her jump right in!"
"We've made a lot of messes but that is the fun in learning," Villa continued, adding that Mia has mastered her chocolate chip cookies.
Villa said she recognized the pressure on essential workers and first responders during the pandemic and wanted to do something to help.
"I was trying to think of something fun to do with Mia that would allow me to teach her valuable lessons in being kind, grateful, and generous," Villa said. She decided to use baking – something they were already doing about twice a week – to help teach Mia that lesson.
Mia and her mom call their little operation "cookie kindness," because they deliver the cookies to people who could use kindness and a smile, Villa said. "Smiles and kindness are contagious, I truly believe that, and the world needs more of it," she said.
They still bake at least twice a week – sometimes three – and bring batches of cookies to places where frontline employees work. "So far we have been to fire stations, hospitals, primary care doctors, EMT's, police stations, an animal hospital, and a supermarket," Villa said.
Villa created a Facebook page, Mia's Cookie Jar, where she updates followers on their cookie deliveries.
"We started out locally, going to places around home and then started getting suggestions from Mia's 'cookie followers," she continued. "I love when we go somewhere that has personally impacted a cookie follower, it makes the deliveries even more special."
"Something that seems so simple [like] delivering cookies truly can make someone's day," the mom said.
Villa said everyone who has received their cookies has been welcoming, showing Mia how an ambulance works, letting her inside fire trucks, and letting her meet police K9s and horses.
She said Mia has loved baking for essential workers and they have no plans of stopping.
"The opportunities for lessons in kindness are endless, and expands so far beyond the places she is going right now and who doesn't love a homemade chocolate chip cookie!" Villa said.