If you’re trying to get the word out about your project, snagging even one second on a big American TV talk show is like winning the lottery.
Lake Cowichan’s own Stacy Middlemiss felt that way Tuesday, Nov. 24 when her Caring with Cookies campaign earned a spot in a contest on Live with Kelly and Michael.
And, not only has she already won $500 and a year’s supply of Extra gum, she could also get $20,000 in a combined donation for herself and her favourite charity.
“That would be so cool,” Middlemiss said, “but even without winning it’s wonderful. Total strangers have messaged me today, saying things like, ‘I live on the mainland but I saw it and just had to investigate’. My brother saw the contest and nominated me. A couple of days later they messaged him and we had to sign a release so they could talk about me and show my picture. Then, my friend watched it at 6 a.m. this morning and texted me and told me to make sure I watched it.”
Her brother, Todd Cameron, impressed by her annual effort to bake, collect and distribute cookies to the less fortunate on Vancouver Island, wanted to see her get the recognition he thought her generosity deserved.
He saw a chance with Live with Kelly and Michael’s Live Acts of Kindness promotion.
“I had entered her for the show’s #liveAOK contest in which they honour and reward acts of kindness,” he said in an email to the Citizen Tuesday, Nov. 24.
“This morning they mentioned Stacy’s hard work and showed her picture. My name was also mentioned as the nominator,” he added, and then posted a link to the YouTube video. You can check it out by searching for “Caring with Cookies” on YouTube.
“Can you believe it? I never in a million years thought I would get this kind of publicity,” said Middlemiss.
She is one of five contestants hoping for the big win.
“On Friday, it was just an announcer gave the runners up. I didn’t think Michael and Kelly were actually going to talk about me themselves. It was so cool.”
She’s been inundated with interest since the spot aired.
“My phone’s been going like crazy with people congratulating me. I’ve had a couple of people contacting me from radio stations and a paper, wanting to set something up in their communities, asking me questions on how I got started. It’s been so cool. I’ve been starting a chain reaction, with people wanting to do something similar.”
It all began with a few batches of cookies.
“For something so small to have gotten so big is crazy,” she said.
Her campaign will not be handing out cookies until closer to Christmas but things are already rolling in Valley kitchens with home cooks Valley wide planning to bake for Caring with Cookies.
“It seems like I have had so many new likes on my Facebook page, and lots of people are asking for posters. We don’t actually start collecting till Dec. 1 and now it seems this year it will be huge. It’s fantastic.”
Middlemiss said the interest was stunning. “I thought it was great being in the paper and on the radio here. Your [Cowichan Valley Citizen] article brought in so many people saying what a great idea it was. Honestly, I’m in tears at least once a day.”
If you want to learn even more about Middlemiss and her Caring with Cookies campaign, visit www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com/community/347201512.html and check out the Caring with Cookies Facebook page.