Middletown High School student sells cookies for a cause

By Jacob Stalnaker
Round Table Reporter

Anyone who has ever gone out of their way to help others knows the feeling you get. It makes you feel better about yourself and, as freshman Joey Athey describes, “lets you know what you can accomplish.”

Athey of all people should know how this feeling works. He is, after all, the head of a local campaign to help families in need by donating toys to the Middletown Valley People Helping People, so parents who can’t afford Christmas presents have something to put under the tree for their kids on Christmas.

Every year, Joey and his family bake cookies and sell them for one dollar a bag.

“It’s definitely a family project,” said Athey. “Although my parents like to say it’s all me.”

However modest Athey may be, selling cookies to buy toys was his idea to begin with.

“It began in kindergarten, when our teacher had us do community service projects. I came up with the idea of baking cookies and selling them to buy toys, and it turned out to be very successful.”

In the first years, Joey sold around one hundred cookies. Now, ten years later, he sells around one thousand bags every Christmas.

Athey gets more toys for his sales now too, because Toys-R-Us has given him discounted prices on all toys being donated to People Helping People.

“The whole thing is a lot of fun, and I feel really good helping others,” says Athey. “I plan on making this something really big in the future.”

It is necessary that we all learn something from Joey Athey, especially in this world of “give me more”. After all, there are people who live in poverty that most people can’t even fathom. 

And if that is not enough motivation to give a little more than we take, just look back on the words of Joey Athey, a teenager that has been changing lives since before he was in grade school.

“Helping others lets you know what you can accomplish, and I believe that we can all accomplish a lot more than we think we can.”