Thu07242014

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Girl Scouts undertake sweet relief effort: Cookies for local soldiers in Afghanistan

Photo Courtesy Of Jenny Hood Girl Scouts with Los Altos Service Unit 608 ready boxes of cookies at the Los Altos Post Office on Main Street in preparation for delivery to soldiers in Afghanistan.

Local Girl Scouts have sent more than 500 boxes of cookies to two soldiers in Afghanistan who call Los Altos home.

The Scouts of Los Altos Service Unit 608 also sent drawings, letters and supplies to Marine 2nd Lt. Jeremy Taylor and Army Lt. Col. Donald Davis and the men under their command. A Feb. 10 Town Crier cover story featured both Los Altos residents.

The girls responded to a request earlier this year from Taylor, a fourth-generation Marine and Los Altos native. Taylor contacted Unit 608’s leader, Jenny Hood, after hearing about a Minnesota Girl Scout troop’s support of soldiers in the Middle East.

“The Girl Scouts decided that cookie donations seemed like a reasonable undertaking,” Hood said. “I offered the challenge to the Girl Scout troops in the Los Altos area, and they were very enthusiastic to help. It’s the least that we can do to help 2nd Lt. Taylor and Lt. Col. Davis. If cookies are what are needed to boost the morale of the soliders, then Girl Scouts are happy to help.”

In March, the girls set up cookie booths all over town in collaboration with local businesses. Shipping had to be covered through the troops’ personal funds, and cookie donations skyrocketed, so there was still enough money to ship more than 500 boxes to Afghanistan.

Hood said the girls were thrilled when they received letters from the soldiers expressing their thanks. They attached photos to show the soldiers with their donations.

Davis asked the girls to help collect donated English books to distribute to Afghan communities around the Harat, Farah, Ghor and Badghis provinces. This would not only encourage literacy among these poorer districts, but also develop an exposure to the English language, he said.

Davis offered a sobering history of the area. After the Soviets withdrew from the Northwestern area of Afghanistan where the four provinces are located, Taliban rule led to militancy, dramatic poverty increase and selective schooling.

Hood said Davis was very convincing when touting the benefits of encouraging literacy in Afghanistan, so many Girl Scout troops have started to collect and send books to him as well.

“The incredible support of our troops in Afghanistan has been an effort collaborated on not only by the Girl Scouts of Unit 608, but also by the people and businesses of Los Altos,” Hood said. “A huge bravo should also go to the Girl Scouts who selflessly organized themselves to give to our soldiers serving our country. That kind of passion is a joy to discover.”

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