Doing Good: Girl Scouts send cookies to military personnel


Over 350 Girl Scouts gathered in Mableton to ship 163,000 boxes of the beloved Girl Scout cookies to service men and women overseas on April 24 as a part of the Girl Scouts’ Smiles4Military program.

The new program started three years ago as Girl Scouts wanted to send cookies to the military overseas, but did not have the funding to do so. “We created Smiles4Military in order to meet the desire of Girl Scouts to provide a treat from home to the military,” said Melissa Brandon, director of product sales for Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta.

Lt. Doniel Wade spoke at the Smiles4Military event and noted how this simple act can do so much for those serving abroad. “It’s a piece of home for our soldiers,” said Wade, who returned home from his tour in Afghanistan on Feb. 14. “When you’re in your daily routine, away from home, something as simple as receiving these boxes of cookies can brighten your day.”

During the yearly cookie sales, customers had an option to donate the cost of a box of cookies for Smiles4Military, which would be then be sent to the military.

Wade’s daughter, Trinity, is a Girl Scout and his wife, Kalika, is a leader for Troop 13709. Trinity sold 1,000 boxes of cookies. “This is a big deal for our girls to not only sell cookies, but also fundraise to send these cookies to service men and women,” said Kalika.

“Our girls learn that thinking of others and fundraising for a good cause can make a difference and make the world a better place. This is truly the Girl Scout mission in action!” Brandon said.

The Smiles4Military event also invited other local charities that send care packages to the military to participate for the Cookie Send-Off. The USO, Hugs for Soldiers, Operation Sandbox, Wounded Warriors, Veteran’s Hospitals and Operation Troop Aid also received donations of Girl Scout Cookies. The Girl Scouts and their families also wrote cards to send with the cookies for the military men and women, while the USO was gathering signatures to make the Guinness World Record for signatures on an American flag.

The event also honored the top 20 Smiles4Military cookie sellers who sold the most cookies for this program. Lorene Parker, 12, sold 525 boxes of cookies to be sent to the troops.

“When I mentioned that cookies would go to the military, people donated right away,” said Parker, who sold over 2,700 boxes of cookies in total. “It is really cool because our troops get these cookies, but you also get to give back and help people in your community.”

Although Girl Scout cookie season is over, people can still be involved to give back to the military. Assisting with efforts for the military can be found by volunteering with the USO, Hugs for Soldiers or other organizations that directly serve the military are great ways to get involved outside of Smiles4Military. The program is also looking for volunteers for its next big event that will start in January 2015.

“Girl Scout Cookies are such a great tradition,” said Wade. “And these are awesome young women are making a difference to soldiers abroad and and letting them know that they are being thought of back home.”

In other news: Delta Community Credit Union is now accepting applications for the Delta Community Credit Union Philanthropic Fund, a grant program which provides financial support to registered 501(c)3 non-profit organizations. To submit an application for 2015, interested organizations can review the 2015 Philanthropic Fund grant guidelines at