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Girl Scouts, helpers wrap up Cookies from Home

April 10, 2006|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Local service members serving overseas will soon be snacking on Girl Scout cookies, thanks to the Conococheague Neighborhood Girl Scouts.

Twenty-six local troops collected cash donations beginning in January. The donations purchased Girl Scout cookies to be sent to local military personnel stationed overseas.

Girl Scout Cookies from Home, as the project is called, began in March 2004, when Jerry Crider and Billy Wiegand were building armored Humvee doors at Letterkenny Army Depot.

"At that time, we were beginning to deliver Girl Scout cookies and they kidded around that they could put some boxes inside the doors prior to shipment," said Suzanne Crider, Jerry's wife and the director of the project. "We knew that wouldn't work, so we came up with another plan."

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In 2004, the local scouts sent 732 boxes of cookies overseas; in 2005, 1,608 boxes of cookies went to service personnel overseas.

Saturday, the group gathered at the Burt J. Asper American Legion Post 46 to pack 3,125 boxes of Girl Scout cookies for shipment to more than 30 soldiers with local connections serving overseas.

The top seller of "soldier cookies" was Elise Crider, 8, Jerry and Suzanne Crider's daughter. She solicited enough donations to buy 1,341 boxes of cookies. A second-year Brownie with Troop 949 of Calvary United Methodist Church of Fayetteville, Elise said she did some of the selling on her own and "some with mom and dad's help. Dad took (the order form) to work and my mom knew a couple people that would buy cookies, and my church and my relatives and our cookie booth at Lowe's and YMCA."

Elise said that it was important to her to send the cookies to soldiers "because it reminds them of home and makes them feel happy that Girl Scouts care about their safety and that they get something from home."

The entire $10,937.50 needed to purchase the cookies came from donations from the community, Crider said.

Military names and addresses came from local family members and friends.

Every box of cookies had a letter, drawing or note attached from a Girl Scout or student from Falling Spring Elementary, Duffield Elementary or Hamilton Heights Elementary.

A letter explaining Girl Scout Cookies from Home and saying who requested that cookies be sent to that soldier went into each carton. As space permitted, socks, books of crossword puzzles, cookies and nuts also were included in the packages, Crider said.

Sponsors underwriting the cost of shipping are: Burt J. Asper American Legion 46, state Rep. Rob Kauffman, Veterans of Vietnam War, Inc. Post 41, Hume McNeil Byers Auxiliary of the AMVETS Post 224, Sons of the AMVETS Post 224, Women of the Moose and the Marine Corps League, all of Chambersburg.

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