February 23, 2006
Girl scout troops from all over our area met in Charlottesville Thursday night to pitch in and help with a big project for a very special group of people.
"People in Iraq can't buy girl scout cookies, and they don't normally get anything sweet," said girl scout Alyssa McIver.
Thursday night Alyssa, along with about fifty other girl scouts, made cards and confetti, and helped pack up cookies for troops serving in Iraq.
"People bought boxes for themselves, then they bought boxes for the troops," said Shania Breckenridge, another scout.
The girls say the troops have earned themselves at least a box or two of thin mints or peanut butter patties.
"They're there to serve our country and they're helpful and they just need something sweet sometimes," said Sydney Jablonski.
Thanks to some good selling, that's exactly what the troops will get. Scout leaders say they expect to ship nearly 1600 boxes. That's more than double their original goal.
Pattie Anderson received cookies while she was in Iraq last year.
"All of a sudden it's like you're home, for five minutes while you're eating these cookies. It's such an incredible sensory overload and it's also so heartwarming to know that strangers back home cared enough about you to send you these cookies," said Anderson, who serves with the 80th Infantry from Virginia.
This is only phase one of "Operation Cookie." There will be another chance to send more cookies next month.
"You may see cookie booths set up throughout the area, throughout Virginia Skyline, where people can buy cookies and then send them overseas to these service members in Fallujah," said Tammie Otto, a girl scout leader, who once served in the military and has been to Iraq.
The girls hope the troops like the packages they're sending tonight.
"I think they'll really enjoy the cookies. Because of all their hard work, they deserve a special treat," said scout Kaleigh Smith.
The cookies are being sent to the 80th Division, a group of troops from right here in Virginia.