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Westchester Girl Scouts Pack Cookies For Troops

VALHALLA, N.Y. – Hudson Valley Girl Scouts are sending a sweet treat to troops overseas.

Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson members packed thousands of boxes of their famous cookies into crates Saturday before sending them to military units in places like Afghanistan and Kuwait as part of “Operation Cookie Drop.”

“I think it’s very helpful and a great cause to do for soldiers that have risked their lives for us,” 10-year-old Pelham scout Kimberly Rosell said.

Dozens of Scouts and their families drove to the New York National Guard Armory in Valhalla to drop off the donated cookies. For five hours, the troops worked in assembly-line fashion, scurrying around the armory, sorting, labeling and packaging the boxes before they were loaded in trucks and shipped.

By late morning, several members of the U.S. Army and Navy had joined the group, working side-by-side with Scouts as they load the boxes into crates.

“It’s nice because we get to see where our work is going,” said 16-year-old Ossining Scout Tara Hammonds.

Once the cookies were loaded, Scouts scribbled handwritten messages on the outside of the brown crates, passing along their thanks and well wishes.

“It’s all about the boys overseas,” said Peekskill dad Ron Paul as three of his daughters helped sort the packages. “It gives them a little taste of home.”

Started 11 years ago, the project has taken off as girls from seven different New York counties donated more than 60,000 boxes of Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Trefoils last year. Operation Cookie Drop organizer and Ardsley troop leader Alison Bergman said she expected even more boxes to be sent overseas this year.

“It’s a way to give back,” Bergman said. “They (Girl Scouts) get to take their project full circle.”

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