America Supports You: Girl Scouts Send Cookies to Troops
By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 18, 2005 Following each Girl Scout cookie season there are thousands of leftover boxes of unsold cookies. Fortunately, most of these extras are donated to charity.
Girl Scouts from Service Unit 80-5 in Woodbridge, Va., and their families packed care packages loaded with boxes of Girl Scout cookies on May 14. The care packages are being shipped to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Courtesy photo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
This year, Girl Scout Service Unit 80-5, which consists of 23 separate troops from Woodbridge, Va., decided to donate their leftover cookies to American servicemembers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital doles out large quantities of unsold cookies to local charities or community service projects, said Linda Martin, one of the leaders of Service Unit 80-5. The Girl Scout council gave the unit 2,280 boxes of cookies for this year's effort, Martin said.
After Martin and the unit's operations coordinator, Anthony Daubach, visited the AmericaSupportsYou.mil Web site, their campaign kicked into high gear, Martin said.
"The girls have been wanting to do something specific for the troops, and using the tools we found on AmericaSupportsYou.mil we found ways that everyone can help," she said.
Martin and Daubach wanted to do more than just ship the cookies overseas, so they quickly expanded their effort by making the cookies the featured item in a care package campaign.
"Many of our girl scouts have parents in the military or are retired military. When this project came up, no one could turn it down." Martin said. "The girls are very excited."
As soon as they began asking the community for items to fill the packages they were overwhelmed with the positive response.
"There was a huge outpouring of donations for our effort," Daubach said.
On May 14, the girls and their families gathered at the Bethel Methodist Church to prepare 243 care packages, which included 1,500 boxes of cookies.
"Each care package contains at least four boxes of cookies, toiletry items, snack food, hard candy, paperback books, and magazines and toys for Iraqi and Afghan children," Daubach added.
The remainder of the care packages will be prepared and shipped at a later date.
Daubach's employer, Science Applications International Corporation, offered to pay for all the shipping costs.
Each care package also contains a letter of gratitude to the troops.
The letter states, "Although you are far from home we hope this care package finds you safe and brings you a small remembrance of home."
"This effort is a small token of our appreciation and a way to say, 'Thank you,' to our deployed troops, and we just wanted to brighten their day and let them know that the Girl Scouts and America care about them," said Amanda Thompson, a Girl Scout from Senior Troop 3800.