A dear kindness: cookies to troops

Brian Castner received a box of thin mints on a cramped transport aircraft over western Iraq while he served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer in the US Air Force. On his blog Fever Dreams, Castner called the gift from a Girl Scout troop from western Pennsylvania “one of the dearest kindnesses that has ever been shown to me.”

Girl Scouts want to share more of that kindness to men and women serving our country overseas in the U.S. Military through a unique addition to the annual Girl Scout Cookie Program called Operation: Sweet Appreciation.

“Girl Scouts have sent cookies and care packages to men and women in our military every year,” said Patricia A. Burkart, CEO of Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania.

“Operation: Sweet Appreciation expands on their efforts, sending more cookies to more of our servicemen and women, giving them a welcome taste of home on behalf of Girl Scouts in western Pennsylvania.”

Donations for Operation: Sweet Appreciation are being accepted at all Girl Scout cookie booths through March 16. You can find a booth sale near you by entering your ZIP code at girlscoutcookies.org.

Customers can also use their iPhones or Android smartphones to find the booth sale closest to them. The Cookie LocatorTM app is available in the App Store and Android Market.

Donations are accepted online at gswpa.org/military through Memorial Day, May 26. Anyone who donates online to Operation: Sweet Appreciation can choose a specific Girl Scout troop or individually registered girl (also known as Indie Girls) to benefit from the donation, just as they would through the traditional Cookie Program.

Girl Scout Cookies purchased with the donations from this program will be shipped directly from the baker, Little Brownie Bakers, to military troops serving overseas.

The cookies delivered through Operation: Sweet Appreciation not only provide a sweet treat, but also carry a message of support.

“Being deployed myself, I was a witness to the power of what a cookie can do,” said Suzanne Buttery, a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force Reserves and a manager of membership and community development for GSWPA.

“To the service members receiving the gifts, it’s not just about the deliciousness of the cookies. Just looking a Girl Scout cookie box is a reminder of the comforts of home and the support of the American people.”

Donations to the program are accepted at Girl Scout cookie booths through March 16 and online February 7 through Memorial Day, May 26, at gswpa.org/military.