Girl Scout cookie-selling season has long been over, but for certain Girl Scout troops, their work is far from complete.
The North Carolina Coastal Pines Girl Scouts delivered approximately 30,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to Fort Bragg as part of a community service project that brings a sweet taste of home to deployed military men and women, May 18.
“This is one of my absolute favorite events,” said Jenny Ayscue, troop leader for Girl Scout Troop 579. “Being here is an educational experience. The girls are able to learn a ton from the Soldiers, but also we like to be here supporting the troops, and being here makes the girls feel closer to the troops and see the men and women who protect our freedom.”
Over the last 12 years, through Operation Cookie Drop, the Girl Scouts have donated almost 900,000 boxes of cookies to the military.
“Operation Cookie Drop has been an opportunity for the scouts in this region to give back to our Soldiers,” said Cathy Mansfield, volunteer services coordinator, Army Community Service. “The majority of those who helped today don't have any interaction with our troops, unless they have a friend whose parent is in the military. They get to see the result of their hard work in selling the cookies when they can help the Soldiers load them up.”
N.C. Coastal Pines Girl Scouts sold additional boxes of cookies during their annual drive and collected donations to provide cookies to units currently deployed or those deploying within the next 90 to 120 days. Units receiving the donations were pre-determined based on deployment status.
The cookies were distributed to 11 units and four different organizations such as the Fort Bragg Blood Donation Center and Survivor Outreach Services. One of the units receiving cookies, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, took home more than 460 cases of cookies.
“I have been fortunate enough to have received Girl Scout cookies on previous deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan,” said 2nd Lt. Jeff Collins, Family readiness liaison, 1st BCT, 82nd Abn. Div. “It is always nice to have a little part of home.”
Some of the cookies distributed to the units may be kept locally and used by the units for Family Readiness Group meetings, care packages and welcome home packages for Soldiers living in the barracks.
“The Girl Scouts were all so happy and seemed to really enjoy themselves,” said Collins. “Setting up the lines to load the cookies into the vehicles was fun. I hope that we were able to make a positive impact on them and who knows maybe have some future paratroopers because of it.”
For more information on Operation Cookie drop, visit www.nccoastalpines.org/en/cookies/operation-cookie-drop.html.