When fifteen-year-old Claire Marinello of Montville sets her mind to something, it’s as good as done. That’s clear from a glance at her Girl Scout vest adorned with merit badges. But even Claire was overwhelmed by the response to Operation Cookie, which she launched in February as a way to send a taste of home to American troops in Iraq.
Claire sent e-mail appeals for donations to everyone she could think of, and soon her mailbox was bulging with envelopes from as far away as Iowa containing enough cash and checks to buy 3,540 boxes of Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tagalongs.
Under normal conditions it could have taken a month or more to get the cookies to Iraq, but Claire arranged for the United States Postmaster General to provide a special truck and mobile post office pickup so they could be delivered in a week.
On March 13, sixteen volunteers gathered at the Towaco Volunteer Fire Department to sort, tape, label, and address the 295 cases of cookies. The Salvation Army brought volunteers and hot coffee. And the Kiwanis Club, which financed much of the postage costs and reached out to partners for the rest, brought a check.
On March 24, Claire received an e-mail from Captain Kwenton Kuhlman of the 82nd Airborne Division: “We just received the Girl Scout cookies yesterday! We really appreciate you all thinking of us.”
“Nothing says home quite like a Thin Mint cookie,” says Claire. Mission accomplished.Click here to leave a comment