News: Dorm residents receive morale booster
Story by Airman Sean Crowe
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. - Military spouses and community members here participated in Operation Cookie Drop Dec. 13, 2012, at the Dix Chapel here.
The joint base community members get together every holiday season to bake, package and distribute cookies for all active-duty personnel living in the dorms. Local organizations, to include the Joint Base Chapel Services and the Burlington County Military Affairs Committee, donated time, money and resources to make the operation happen.
“The goal is to boost morale for service members who might not be able to enjoy homemade holiday treats this season,” said Kris Kuenzli, Operation Cookie Drop volunteer.
The spouses said they could not have made the event happen without the hard work and cooperation of the first sergeants.
"Giving out these holiday cookies is one of the best aspects of being a first sergeant,” said Master Sgt. Don Pedro, 305th Maintenance Squadron first sergeant. “It’s extremely rewarding to see the look of appreciation on the Airmen’s faces when you hand them little slices of holiday cheer. My hat goes off to the many spouses and volunteers that made this happen. The First Sergeants delivered the cookies, but the real work was done the night before, by the spouses group."
Operation Cookie Drop volunteers packaged 13,194 cookies into 2,199 bundles to be distributed by first sergeants among their respective dorms and from their workplaces as well. The sorters placed six cookies and other assorted small candies in each bundle.
Military spouses and other volunteers sorted and wrapped bundles of cookies prior to packaging for unit first sergeants to distribute.
“We didn’t initially receive the 18,000 cookies we were originally asking for from the volunteers,” said Kuenzli. “During the operation, I thought we wouldn’t have enough to meet the quota, but the volunteers and donors helped us make the operation a success. This is the one event where I get to work with all branches of service and my work benefits the entire community in some way. We get to spread holiday cheer and let the service members know someone is thinking of them.”