This article by Dylan Gresik originally appeared in the Military Times
It’s that time of year again: Girl Scout cookie season.
Whether it’s the simple yet satisfying oatmeal-peanut butter Do-Si-Do, complex coconut Samoa or the classic, chocolaty fresh Thin Mints, everyone has a favorite cookie.
Regardless of your choice, as you eagerly place your order this year, you might also consider donating a box (or a few) to U.S. military personnel.
The Girl Scouts of the USA enable local troops to participate in charities, and one of those includes sending cookies to troops overseas and veterans here at home.
Nationwide Girl Scout councils approve programs like Gift of Caring and Cookie Share to sponsor cookie donations to the military, while having the proceeds remain within the local community. The programs help the girls learn entrepreneurship, goal setting, money management and people skills, the Girl Scouts of the USA said.
“I hope the military members feel happy and loved when they receive the cookies,” Allie McCormick, a Girl Scout senior told Military Times. “I hope they realize that there are a lot of people thinking of them.”
The Girl Scouts of Nassau County, New York, channel their donations through “Operation: Cookie,” which began in 2005 and has sent nearly 1 million packages of cookies overseas. Boxes have been shipped to American service members in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Japan, South Korea and the Philippines.
“My family members have served in the U.S. military since the Civil War,” said 10-year-old Lotte Prail, a Girl Scout junior. “It is important to send Girl Scout Cookies (the yummiest things ever made) because [when] veterans overseas get them, they know that here at home we still care about them and appreciate the sacrifices they make every day to keep us safe.”
This year, the Nassau troop’s goal is 100,000 packages.
“My favorite part is seeing the smiles on the military men and women’s faces when we go to the bases,” added 7-year-old Samantha O’Connor, a Girl Scout brownie.
“Showing our support to our servicemen and women around the world with Girl Scout Cookies is a little taste of home and would not be possible without the help of our shipping partner, DHL Express who has donated their services to move over 900,000 packages in the last 15 years,” explained Rande Bynum, CEO of Girl Scouts of Nassau County.
Montgomery “Monty” Granger was one of those soldiers who received cookies overseas, and now the retired U.S. Army major helps his 11-year-old daughter sell cookies for her Girl Scout troop in Suffolk County, New York.
“Girl Scout Cookies are like a little taste of home in every bite,” said Granger, who served in Iraq from 2004-2005. “They really bring back what America is all about – teaching girls about entrepreneurship, leadership and community service.”
“The thing that always lights you up are the Girl Scout cookies. It’s that comfort food that soldiers will fight over; soldiers will share,” Granger added. “It always puts a big smile on your face because you think about being home and this is one of the good things about being home is Girl Scout cookies.”