JACKSONVILLE, NC, UNITED STATES
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - After months of selling cookies, Girl Scouts gathered at the USO of North Carolina Jacksonville center to give more than 3,000 boxes to the military community during Operation Cookie Drop, May 22.
At each local cookie selling booth, from January to March, girls from the Coastal Pines’ Girl Scouts placed a tin seeking donations for Operation Cookie Drop.
“We use that money to purchase cookies and donate them to the USO and other military-affiliated nonprofit organizations throughout the state,” said Amanda Crompton, the membership director for the Girl Scout’s throughout Onslow and Jones County. “In our community, most Girl Scouts have a military affiliation. They understand the importance of giving back to service members.”
The troops of Girl Scouts pulled box after box out of a truck and gave them to the USO. The USO will use the boxes for homecomings, deployments and other events for service members and their families.
Jamie Blevins, a Girl Scout troop leader, said some of the girls in her troop had parents who served in the military and shared with the girls how the cookies helped service members feel special while deployed, especially those who may not receive much correspondence.
“The service members feel appreciated,” said Blevins. “They are thankful somebody is thinking of them. I think it’s important for the girls to be a part of this and give back to those who fight for us.”
The cookies were a great way to show members of the military community that the Girl Scouts and USO stand behind them, said Shea Blair, the center coordinator of the USO.
“Everybody loves snacks,” said Blair. “They are a great way to show service members how much they are appreciated.”
By giving, the girls learned some of the traits exhibited by service members, said Blair.
“It helps them see what selfless actions are about,” said Blair.
After donating the cookies the girls celebrated with a cookie social, where they enjoyed treats and spent time with Capt. Justine Whipple and Warrant Officer Crystal Ledbetter, who shared their appreciation with the girls.
The Marines’ presence showed the girls the kind of leadership opportunities available to them as they grow up.
Whipple, a former girl scout and the officer in charge of Logistics Support Team 2 with Marine Special Operations Support Group, said the girls were gaining experiences as leaders through the program.
Whipple appreciated seeing young girls actively supporting service members and for the cookies, which she has enjoyed while deployed.
“Not only are they delicious, they’re a taste of home,” said Whipple.
Ledbetter, the officer in charge of administrative support with Headquarters and Support Battalion’s Legal Services Support Section, enjoyed her time with the girls and said the motivation and initiative they showcased could carry them far in life.
For more information about the USO of North Carolina Jacksonville center, call 455-1341.
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||JACKSONVILLE, NC, US
This work, Operation Cookie Drop: Girl Scouts show troop appreciation, by Cpl Jackeline Perez Rivera, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.