Friday, March 1, 2013

Service Unit 8 honors our troops - the Girl Scout way!

Special thanks to Sharon Zhang of Girl Scout Troop 40933 for this blog post.

Last year our school’s principal, a former lieutenant colonel in the army reserve, was called back to active duty in Afghanistan. When he broke the news to us at an assembly, the entire school felt the weight of the message, and everyone held immense respect for his sacrifice. Our principal made a large impact on countless people as a single person, so it is overwhelming to imagine the huge effect that every person in the troops have made on our country by putting their lives in danger for our safety.

To show our gratitude for the sacrifices our servicemen make, five years ago Girl Scout Troop 40933 was introduced to the 142nd Fighter Wing by Trent Hansen, a local guardsman, as our initial contact. The troop began donating boxes of Girl Scout cookies to the  Fighter Wing through the Gift of Caring program, which customers can choose to donate to when approached by Girl Scouts selling cookies.

This year, all the Gift of Caring donations collected in Service Unit 8 will go to Oregon’s 142nd Fighter Wing, and other areas of the military. The fighter wing “guards the western skies from southern Alaska to northern California…in case of any threat to our part of the U.S.,” according to Family Program Director Mary Bell, who takes care of the families of the guard members in addition to collaborating with Girl Scout Service Unit 8 for Gift of Caring cookies. In previous years, providing cookies to the fighter wing has been incredibly successful for Troop 40933 and a few sister troops. Last year, the Girl Scout troops who donated cookies to the 142nd provided about 60 cases (roughly 720 boxes of cookies), with as many as 84 cases in previous years. With the aid of additional Girl Scout troops in Service Unit 8 who will be contributing this year, we hope to donate even more to thank and support our guardsmen.

And do the guardsmen love the Girl Scout cookies! “Our guard members are now to the point that they ask when [the cookies] will be coming. It’s a big event when I get them,” explains Bell. “Girl Scout cookies are like warm hugs – they always bring smiles and then people ask if their favorite cookies are amongst the donated ones…I never have any leftovers. We send some over to [the deployed] wherever they are in the world and some we share with other branches of service who don't get a supply like I get. I put the cookies out all over the base for morale building and our people love them.” As a Girl Scout, seeing how many boxes of cookies are given to the fighter wing each year feels amazing, because I know that each and every box is a symbol of our gratitude to the servicemen and servicewomen for everything they have done.

With the support of customers to our Girl Scouts, this year the entire North Beaverton Service Unit 8 aims to continue donating cookies to the troops as a small but significant token of thanks, because our country is indebted to the undying loyalty and bravery of these men and women.

To support Girl Scouts and the Gift of Caring Program look for Cookie Booth Sales in front of major stores in your area from February 15, 2013 – March 10, 1013 or contact troop 40933 at to donate directly to our troops effort to support the 142nd Fighter Wing.

To find out about Girl Scouts or volunteer opportunities in your area visit the local Girl Scout website at or call our Portland Service Center: 503-977-6800 or 1-800-338-5248.

There are many great places available for girls to send their Gift of Caring cookies! The council works with the Red Cross to donate many Gift of Caring cookies, but girls and troops are welcome to choose their own organization and select one that has special personal meaning to them and helps them better fulfill their Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Girls may also give to multiple organizations.