Scouts deliver cookies to … Iraq

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 14, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; Girl Scout cookies set aside for military troops in Iraq now have a way to get there.

Members of New Hope Troop 500 delivered the cookies to St. Mary Basilica on Wednesday, where the Rev. David O’Connor accepted them on behalf of the church youth.

&uot;We saw in the newspaper that the Catholic youth were having a scavenger hunt to get things together for the soldiers in Iraq,&uot; said Glenda Williams, troop leader. &uot;We thought maybe we could ship the cookies with their things.&uot;

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The boxes of cookies for the troops came from two sources. One package is from the Adams County Girl Scouts; the other is from donations made by people who are unable to eat the cookies, Williams said.

&uot;When we went to cookie training, we learned about making coupons available to people who had diabetes or some other problem that made it impossible for them to eat the cookies,&uot; she said. &uot;The coupons purchased cookies for the soldiers in Iraq.&uot;

In addition to the cookies, soldiers will receive inspirational messages written by the Scouts and by some of the people who donated cookies.

One message was from the wife of a Vietnam veteran, who wrote, &uot;It took 25 years for anyone to say thank you to my husband, a Vietnam warrior. I thank you for keeping freedom alive for my grandkids.&uot;

The Scouts wrote short wishes for God’s blessings and safekeeping. &uot;God bless you, and you be safe,&uot; one wrote.&uot; And another wrote, &uot;God will always be with you. Just put your trust in him.&uot;

O’Connor said projects such as the St. Mary Catholic Youth Organization’s gathering goods to send to Iraq and the Scouts’ donations of cookies are good lessons for the young people.

&uot;It’s good for our kids to be connected that way,&uot; he said. &uot;It gives them a better understanding of the sacrifices being made over there.&uot;

Shunieka Busby, a member of Troop 500, said sending the troops cookies was important to her.

&uot;It’s basically about helping the soldiers in Iraq, letting them know we appreciate that they are keeping our country free,&uot; she said. &uot;And they are so far away from home. We thought they would like to have the cookies.&uot;

The packages of cookies will be added to a large number of items collected by the CYO on Sunday during a scavenger hunt that brought in such items as toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, instant soup, canned goods, snacks, playing cards, stamps and stationery.