Packing ‘em up! Girl Scouts donate cookies to troops overseas
Fort Bliss — Nine Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest were at the Silas L. Copeland Departure/Arrival Airfield Control Group on East Fort Bliss April 23 to continue the Gift of Caring program, a 12-year tradition of Girl Scouts delivering donated Girl Scout Cookies for Soldiers overseas.
More than 9,000 Girl Scouts from southwestern Texas and southern New Mexico participated in the program by requesting customers to purchase an additional box for a donation. Out of 1 million boxes of cookies sold, 17,100 boxes were donated.
Shortbread, Thin Mints, Lemonades and Peanut Butter Patties were among the traditional cookies packaged in several crates and loaded onto a truck. The crates were then unloaded, unpacked by the GSDSW and then loaded into four containers, bound for service members deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Volunteer Soldiers and civilians from the Directorate of Mobilization and Deployment assisted the Girl Scouts in loading the boxes into the containers.
Aggie Reyes, product sales manager for GSDSW, said the Gift of Caring program is successful because the community here is always willing to donate and give back. Reyes has a six-year-old daughter, Isela, who has been with the GSDSW for two years.
“Our girls work hard, and they always try to give back to the community,” said Reyes. “We started on January 18 and finished on March 2. So after six weeks of sales, we were ready to bring them here.”
Eleven-year-old Madison Morgan, a sixth-grader at Wiggs Middle School in El Paso, said, “it’s awesome (she) participated in sending Girl Scout Cookies to Soldiers overseas.”
“We have gotten some emails from Soldiers that they are very grateful for the donations of the cookies,” said Madison.
Diane Flanagan, chief executive officer for the GSDSW, claimed it was a record year of sales for the Girl Scouts, with boxes sold in an area covering 94,000 square miles and 33 counties.
“Whenever Soldiers come back and they talk to us about receiving the cookies overseas and what it meant for them to get them, it’s such a great story to hear that and the girls are even more excited to be a part of it,” said Flanagan. “I’ve heard things like, ‘it feels like home’ or ‘it’s a little bit of home.’ The cookies are an American tradition. They feel like everybody can relate to a Girl Scout cookie.”
After all the cookies were loaded into the containers, Col. John Dorney, DoMaD director, presented the Girl Scouts with a certificate of appreciation, expressing to the young girls and their parents how much their efforts were appreciated. Dorney guaranteed to the Girl Scouts that Soldiers overseas will enjoy the cookies.
“We definitely are so thankful for everybody here at Fort Bliss because they make this day so easy for us to get the cookies here, and you can see the help today of loading the cookies and there is such joy around this and it’s just a wonderful, wonderful experience for all of us,” said Flanagan. “It’s something that we like to do to thank our Soldiers for what they do for us every single day and we also want to thank the whole community for their donations.”