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Our 8th Annual Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry Cookies-4-Soldiers Service Project


   

Keep our 2014 Overseas Military
in your prayers











STATUS:
Our girls sold GS cookies and collected donations
to send to our treasured adopted soldiers
for our annual service project.

Our Care Packing event in April was
a big success!

April 22: First shipment 7 care packages shipped
April 24: 2nd shipment 7 more care packages shipped
May 10: 3rd shipment 11 care packages shipped
May 17: 4th shipment 6 care packages shipped
May 20: 5th shipment 1 care package
May 24th: Last 3 of the 35 care packages sent!
     
Eighth Annual Cookies-4-Soldiers Campaign is completed. All cookies have shipped out to our overseas military. Thank you to everyone that made this service project a success. Reading the letters we receive and will continue to post, you will see how much this act of kindness and respect for those serving abroad is appreciated.

/////// News from Camp Hovey, Korea/////////
Date: July 9, 2014 (Card and medal received July 14th)
Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry,
Thank you so much for all the wonderful packages of Girl Scout Cookies and goodies! We have really enjoyed them over here in Korea. Please take this coine as a token of our appreciation.
Lieutenant Alex Pinigis, Recon Platoon Leader


/////// News from Afghanistan/////////
Date: May 4, 2014 (Letter received May 18th, Christina wanted to share)
Dear Christina,
Thank you for sending me your blue card and your thoughtful kind words. I appreciate the nice box of Girl Scout cookies and have kept my favorite box and passed out the other to my co-workers. It was very kind of you and your Girl Scout Troop to send them to me. I want to Thank you, your parents and your Girl Scout Trrop for what you are doing and taking on the task of bringing happiness to others you do not know nor will most likely never meet but by your good work and deeds you have accomplished what you set out to do.
I have dedicated my entire life to helping others and being in the military and now still wearing the uniform I am proud of all these young military from all the services. Through them and you we are will be better off in life. My Easter was very good and I am truly Blessed that where I am we are very safe and the weather is like that of Florida but very dry and much hotter in the summer time where we are stationed. I only wish and pray that the violence would stop up North but it does not appear that it will.
Take care always do your best in School and enjoy participating in the Girl Scout Troop as your tasks are benefiting your Community, and also was very well recieved over here. Take Care.
Your Fried,
David Stanton
/////// More News from Afghanistan/////////
Date: May 4, 2014
Dear Mrs. Coe,
I wanted to write to you to let you know that I received the box that was send on April 24th of the the Girl Scout cookies and I have kept one box for myself and passed out the rest to my co-workers. I will also write the two girls that send me a card individually. Please thank them and I have their cards on the wall and am very proud of them being in the Girl Scouts and know that following the values they will be productive young people that we need so badly.
Actually being in the Southern part of Afghanistan it is much safer than being up North so we are spoiled. Not only safe but the weather is like that of Florida weather. Only we are dry and temperatures will go up to 130.
Have a meeting to go to but I will as I promised and if they want to continue to write I will be glad to respond. Thank you again and may God Bless you all.
Your Fried,
David Stanton

/////// News from Alex Pinigis' Fiance as care packages are arriving!/////////
Subject: Alex's Second Care Package
Date: May 13, 2014 5:46 PM
Mrs. Michele,
Alex just received his second care package. He officially has the most popular desk in his Battalion. Next week he will take over a platoon of Soldiers who I am sure are going to love the surprise of GS cookies! Thank you to you and the girls for sponsoring him! He is feeling so spoiled!
Jackie-Leigh
.....And her email came with this great picture!!!


/////// News from Girl Scout Troop 1119/////////
Date: Saturday, April 19th, 2014

We had an awesome turnout at our Care Packing event today and the girls packaged up 35 care packages for our 7 Overseas Soldiers adopted into our Cookies-4-Soldiers service project!! Great job girls!!

   
A special shout-out of thanks to troop 1119 plus our St. Augustine sister troops 1293 and 1118 that also helped!

Thanks to the SMdM Rosary Society who supplied us with beautiful "knotted" blue and green rosaries for our Navy and Army men and women!!


A Special thanks to Debi and Chett Wood for the great job helping get our customs forms prepared just right!!
   
The girls made some awesome cards!




A job very well done - can't wait to start hearing back from overseas!! Stay tuned and I will post updates right here.



/////// News from Girl Scout Troop 1119/////////
Date: Saturday, March 15th, 2014

We have officially adopted 7 Overseas Soldiers for our 2014 Cookies-4-Soldiers Service Project. The girls are actively selling Girl Scout cookies and collecting donations for their big care packing event in mid-April. We are so excited to have the honor of showing those serving our country abroad that we have not forgotten them here on the home front. Thank you for their service - and please keep these wonderful guys and girls in your daily prayers.



This is something worth repeating - shared from the Girl Scouts of St. Augustine

        Our Nation's Flag is a stirring sight
As it flutters proudly in the breeze
Its colors of blue, red and white
Mean so much to you and me
Red stands for courage and hardiness
The white means innocence and purity
Blue for justice, perseverance and vigilance
In its promise to keep us free.

This banner stands for a bountiful land,
Its government, people, and ideals,
The stripes from the thirteen colonies stand,
Its symbolism is very real.
Each State now is represented
By a star of white on blue
President Washington first presented
The American Flag to You.

Many brave men have fought and died
To protect it from dishonor and disgrace.
Wives have mourned and mothers have cried
So we could remain...the United States.
The sight of this Banner brings feeling of joy,
Of courage, pride and freedom to all.
A symbol of our nation in all it's glory,
On the moon Old Glory stands tall.



We are happy to announce that over the last 7 years we have sold and shipped 4,018 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to our overseas soldiers in our annual Cookies-4-Soldiers service project! We are so proud of our girls and enjoy helping them make a difference in our world.


/////// News from Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry/////////
Date: Friday, February 14th, 2014
Adopting Overseas Soldiers for our 2014 Cookies-4-Soldiers Service Project

 
Our Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry would like to invite you to help us adopt Overseas Soldiers from your families or neighborhoods that you would like us to spoil by adopting them into our 2014 Cookies-4-Soldiers campaign. It involves getting the following information regarding the Soldier you want us to adopt.

What we need for each adopted soldier is:
  • Name of Soldier and Branch of service & Rank
  • Military address
  • Any Picture of the Soldier (to be used to help girls know who they are helping)
  • Name of Relative (email or phone number) so that I can get permission from them to adopt their soldier. (This is a DOD requirement that we have the family's express permission to send care packages to their Soldier.)
  • Any facts the family would like to share - their favorite Girl Scout cookie, their hobbies, what they like to do....
  • Packages will begin shipping in late April, we contact the soldier's family when we send packages to them.







Prior Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry Cookies-4-Soldiers Service Projects


   

Keep our 2013 Overseas Military
in your prayers













STATUS:
April 20th Care Packing Event a success!
The girls boxed 66 care packages for the soldiers and 5 charms for the wives!
11 Care Packages shipped Monday April 22nd
14 Care Packages shipped Friday April 26th
23 Care Packages shipped Thursday May 2nd
Last 18 Care Packages shipped Monday May 20th

     

/////// News from Cpl Britney St. Germain in Afghanistan///////////////////
Date: Monday June 17, 2013
We received this postcard today:


/////// News from Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry///////////////////
Date: Saturday, April 20th, 2013
We had a great turnout at our Care Packing event today and the girls packaged up 64 care packages for our 9 Overseas Soldiers adopted into our 2013 Cookies-4-Soldiers service project!! Great job girls!!


Ashley and Megan sealing up their first care package!
  
Girls making cards for their chosen soldiers.

Navy LSC Greg Evans (one of our 2012 adopted sailors!)shared a story with the girls about trading 2 boxes of thin mints to get a part to fix their vehicle.
  
He presented certificates to the girls to show their appreciation for our efforts!

He even joined the fun and put a care package together with the girls!
  
Presenting a certificate to Coach Michelle Haller, Troop 1119.

Our pastor Father Al stopped by to say a prayer with the girls and bless the camouflage rosaries that were added to the care packages.
  
The fruits of our labors! 64 care packages stuffed with over 580 boxes of Girl Scout cookies ready for shipment!


Seventh Annual Cookies-4-Soldiers Campaign has begun!

/////// News from Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry/////////
Date: Friday, February 15th, 2013
Adopting Overseas Soldiers for our 2013 Cookies-4-Soldiers Service Project

  Our Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry would like to invite you to help us adopt Overseas Soldiers from your families or neighborhoods that you would like us to spoil by adopting them into our 2013 Cookies-4-Soldiers campaign. It involves getting the following information regarding the Soldier you want us to adopt.

What we need for each adopted soldier is:
  • Name of Soldier and Branch of service & Rank
  • Military address
  • Any Picture of the Soldier (to be used to help girls know who they are helping)
  • Name of Relative (email or phone number) so that I can get permission from them to adopt their soldier.
    (this is a DOD requirement that we have the family's express permission to send care packages to their Soldier).
  • Any facts the family would like to share - their favorite Girl Scout cookie, their hobbies, what they like to do....
  • Packages will begin shipping in late March, we contact the soldier's family when we send packages to them.


   

Keep our 2012 Overseas Military
in your prayers


















STATUS:
First Shipment: 11 care packages shipped 3/15
Second Shipment: 14 care packages shipped 4/12
Third Shipment: 14 care packages shipped 5/1
plus 9 charms enroute to the wives!
Fourth Shipment: 14 care packages shipped 5/14
Fifth Shipment: 14 care packages shipped 5/22









     
Sixth Annual Cookies-4-Soldiers Campaign declared a success!

/////// News from Iraq - US Army 1LT Nick Terech//////////
Date: Jun 13, 2012 3:13 AM
I just wanted to say thank you for the care package with all the girl scout cookies that your troop sent recently. Myself and my platoon really appreciate the support from back home and it has been a great help getting through this year long deployment! We all LOVE girl scout cookies! They barely last the first day, lol. After a year in both Iraq and Kuwait, we are finally heading home later this month and are very excited to return to Texas. Thanks to yours and others prayers and support, we are returning safe with everyone we left with. That in itself is a huge blessing.
Thanks again, and I pray that God will bless Troop 1119!

Sincerely,
1LT Nick Terech
Scout Platoon Leader
HHC/2-8 CAV

/////// Protect those who serve, O Lord//////////////////
All Powerful God, watch over all our dear ones who serve this day in the military. Hold them safely in the palm of your hand. Walk with them in your strength. Bring comfort when they are troubled; hope when they are weary. Remind them of our love. Merciful Lord, bring a lasting peace into our midst. Heal our hearts and help all nations find ways to live in harmony so that blood is shed no more.
We ask this in the name of Christ Jesus, Prince of Peace. Amen.

/////// News from Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry///////////////////
Date: Tuesday May 22nd, 2012
We have now shipped our last care packages for our 14 Overseas Soldiers adopted into our 2012 Cookies-4-Soldiers service project. It almost didn't happen today but for the assitance of three wonderful women at the USPS counter of Harbor Mart on Palm Coast Parkway. The rules changed monday for shipping customs packages and they graciously helped us out by getting all the labels redone accordingly. We could not have done it without them! A very special thank you!!

/////// News from Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry///////////////////
Date: Monday May 14th, 2012
We had an awesome turnout at our last Care Packing event Saturday and the girls packaged up 28 care packages for our 14 Overseas Soldiers adopted into our Cookies-4-Soldiers service project!! Great job girls!!



 
A special shout-out of thanks to troops 1119, 1134, 864 and Santa Maria Zip girls plus our St. Augustine sister troops 1280, 222, 918 and 933 that also helped! We plan to ship our last care package in a few days. It's been a great year for our service project and we've far exceeded our expectations due to the generousity of so many. Thank you all!!

/////// News from Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry///////////////////
Date: Tuesday, May 1st, 2012
We are very pleased that the charms have all come in and are enroute to the wives. Some are being personally delivered and the Leaders have promised me some photos that we will post. Thanks to Patty for making them look so awesome!!

Our last round of care packages is now enroute. We are making final preparations for our next Care Packing event to be held on May 12th. Thanks to all that have been so generous that we can now prepare even more care packages to ship. Get ready girls -- more packing to do on May 12th from 10am to noon at SMdM Learning Center!

Another shout out to the Ladies Auxillary from Palm Coast. They gave us medals to send to our last two adopted soldiers so now all 14 have been sent their special medals. They also gave me a very generous shipping donation which is going a long way to helping make our next round of shipments possible.
Here is an image of the medals they have given us to include in our care packages:


Last, but not least -- I have heard that a certain Brownie named Molly has been collecting donations for our last charm and for shipping from the patrons of Blue!! If you haven't tried Blue at the Topaz in Flagler Beach, you are missing out! Make plans to visit Blue and enjoy a fabulous meal - tell them the Girl Scouts sent you!!

/////// News from Afghanistan - US MARINE Cply Riley Carter///////////////////
Date: Apr 18, 2012 1:35 AM

Thank you so much for my package. I really appreciate the support from you and all the girls, and the other Marines I work with definitely enjoy the cookies! Please pass on our thanks and appreciation. When I get home I will come by and say thank you in person!

Cpl Carter, Riley D.
Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 (FWD)
S-6 Radio Operator

/////// News from Crete - US NAVY MA2(SW) Joshua DeWitt///////////////////
Date: Apr 9, 2012

Just wanted to let you know I received the package about 3 days ago. Thank you so much for the cookies and the thoughts and prayers!!! Let the Girl Scout Ministry know that they are also in my thoughts and prayers!! HOOYAH!!! :)

Josh

/////// News from Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry///////////////////
Date: Wednesday April 4th, 2012
We now have pictures for ALL our 14 Overseas Soldiers adopted into our Cookies-4-Soldiers service project!! The girls are doing such a great job but it couldn't be done without our community's support. Thank you to all that have donated and will donate for this awesome service project. One more care packing event planned for May 12th so keep those donations coming!! God bless everyone this Easter, especially those serving our country abroad.


/////// News from Afghanistan - packages arrived - she loved the charm!! ///////////////////
Subject: Greeting from Afganistan (UNCLASSIFIED)
Date: Mar 21, 2012 2:50 AM

I was very happy to receive your letters and the package, let me introduce myself, I am Master Stephanie James, I am mother and a wife, I have two children that I miss them very much, my daughter is 19yrs old college student and my son is 5 yrs old. I have been in the army for 19 yrs and I will soon retire in a couple of years. Me and my husband are both deployed but in different place, so I do not see him much, so my son is with my mother in FLA. I will tell you about war and living in a war area. Well of course there are things that I cannot share, but I will tell you guys a few things.The hardest thing for me is being away from my kids. It's not as bad as the news portrays it to be, I support a lot of the Special Force troops that you guys see in the news, I make sure that they have all equipment they need when they go on convoys. In the Army we all have a different jobs, some kick in doors, some supply equipment, some cook the meals for the troop and some work on equipment, that is just a few jobs. The living area are not too bad, we have roommates some have 3 to a room, the area is small, but we make it work, you try to make it feel like home, right now in Afghanistan it is very hot, dusty and dry. We are having a lot of sand storm now, were you can sometime barely see your hand in front of your eyes. One thing I want to tell you,we are very very bless to be a Americans, what we call poor is not poor at all. Ms Michele I have pass out all the wonderful things you sent thank you and God bless you, Take care.

PS: LET THE GIRLS KNOW THAT I AM ALSO A FORM BROWNIE AND GIRL SCOUT and the value that I learn as a scout still sticks with me today and I would love to send you guys a US Flag that will be flown here in Afghanistan, so I will write you before I send it, will the address on the card will it be a good address, and how far are you guys from Jacksonville FLA. I will be home on leave in June and I would love to stop by and see you girl, we will just stay in contact and I was so shock to see my husband picture, that photo was when we deployed in 2006, you got me on that one in my crying voice. And tell the Ladies of Auxiliary, thank you for the coin. I will write them too, it was no e-mail address, E-MAIL is better for us. GIRL SCOUTS ROCK!!!!!!!
A PHOTO OF ME BEFORE I LEFT FOR DEPLOYMENT.

V/r,MSG Stephanie D. James


/////// News from Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry///////////////////
Date: Monday March 10th, 2012
We had a great turnout at our Care Packing event today and the girls packaged up 40 care packages for our now 14 Overseas Soldiers adopted into our Cookies-4-Soldiers service project!! Great job girls!!

   
A special shout-out of thanks to troops 1119, 1134, 864 and Santa Maria Zip girls plus our St. Augustine sister troops 1280 and 222 that also helped!

Thanks to Pat Quinn from the SMdM Rosary Society who supplied us with beautiful "knotted" black and green rosaries for our soldiers!!

A big thanks to Belle Terre Junior Beta Club (5th and 6th graders pictured below) who collected donations for our care packages too!!

Special thanks to Rae Amback from Ladies Aux of Palm Coast VFW for the "thank you for your service, praying for your safety" Medals!!

And last but not least - special thank you to Santa Maria del Mar for giving us a great place to hold our care packing event and helping us fill the care packages with your generous donations!! Our first round of care packages will ship out this week!




/////// News from Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry///////////////////
Date: Monday March 5th, 2012
We now have 12 Overseas Soldiers adopted into our service project and we are still collecting names and pictures. This Saturday morning March 10th we will be hosting our first care packing event where the girls get tosee the fruits of their labor come together. The girls pick a Soldier from our Wall of Fame - where they see the Soldier's picture and read something about them (like where they are and what cookies and hobbies they like). Then they go from Station to Station, building their box, filling it with 6 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, and then magazines, other goodies we collect. Then they go to the Card making station where we have paper, stickers, etc and they can make a special card made especially for their selected soldier. Next, we help the girls with the Customs forms and seal up the boxes. When they are through they bring the box up to the Wall of Fame and place it under their chosen Soldier's picture. We will post pictures next week after the event and expect our first shipment to go out next week as well!

/////// News from Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry///////////////////
Date: Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
We now have 9 Overseas Soldiers adopted into our service project and we are still collecting names. We've already bought over 200 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to send and working to collect more donations to make this year our best success yet!

Collecting Donations - send email to michele@lighthousetrips.com for instructions!

We will collect donations during our Annual Girl Scout Cookie Sale for purchasing the cookies and to cover the shipping expenses. We are blessed to have the generosity of our community for our service project. Last year we shipped 88 care packages filled with cookies, letters, cards and other goodies to our 14 Adopted Soldiers from March through May. Sending them cookies brings them a touch of home.

A new twist this year is that we are hoping to collect enough to order picture charms for the wives of our adopted soldiers to recognize their sacrifices here on the home front. Our friend Patty with JewelKade will personalize the charms with a picture of each adopted soldier which we wish to deliver to their wives during the sweetheart month of February. Preview of the Charm:




Adopting Overseas Soldiers for our 2012 Cookies-4-Soldiers Service Project

  Our Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry would like to invite you to help us adopt Overseas Soldiers from your families or neighborhoods that you would like us to spoil by adopting them into our 2012 Cookies-4-Soldiers campaign. It involves getting the following information regarding the Soldier you want us to adopt.

What we need for each adopted soldier is:
  • Name of Soldier and Branch of service & Rank
  • Military address
  • Any Picture of the Soldier (to be used to help girls know who they are helping)
  • Name of Relative (email or phone number) so that I can get permission from them to adopt their soldier.
    (this is a DOD requirement that we have the family's express permission to send care packages to their Soldier).
  • Any facts the family would like to share - their favorite Girl Scout cookie, their hobbies, what they like to do....
  • Packages will begin shipping in late March, we contact the soldier's family when we send packages to them.



   

Pray for Our 2011 Adopted Soldiers


















STATUS:
February 26th care packing event a success
+ 11 care packages shipped March 3rd, 2011
+ 11 care packages shipped March 15th, 2011
+ 11 care packages shipped March 25th, 2011
March 26th care packing event a success
+ 3 care packages shipped April 4th, 2011
+ 13 care packages shipped April 14th, 2011
+ 13 care packages shipped April 26th, 2011
+ 13 care packages shipped May 12th, 2011
June 10th last packing at lockin a success
+ 13 care packages shipped June 13th, 2011








      Fifth Annual Cookies-4-Soldiers Campaign Declared A Success!

Our latest correspondence:
/////// Mail from CPT Mark E. Ruiz///////////////////
6 September 2011

Girl Scout Troop 324,

The Team at the Sahel IMOC would like to thank you for thinking about us while we serve the United States from Stuttgart Germany. The Sailors and Soldiers enjoyed the Girl Scouts cookies and goodies as well as the words of encouragement.

The Sahel IMOC works for the US Africa Command monitoring threat activity in the Sahel region of the continent of Africa. Our goal is to make sure US citizens and their allies are safe from any type of threat in the Sahel region of Africa. If you would like to know more about the US Africa Command you can visit the web site at: http://www.africom.mil/.

Enclosed are 26 AFRICOM pins that are normally worn on a dress uniform and a picture of the Sahel IMOC team.

Thank you again for the delicious Girl Scout Cookies,
Respectfully,
CPT Mark E. Ruiz


The coolest pins for the girls!

------- June 16, 2011 -------------

Many people have sent notes inquiring about the flag rivets that we sent to our adopted soldiers this year. The following is the words our sister troops from St. Augustine included to our soldiers with the flag rivets we sent to them.

On November 20, 2010 the St. Augustine Girl Scouts of Gateway Council retired 150 worn flags. As we retired each flag, we reminded ourselves of our flag’s history: the stripes stand for each of the thirteen original colonies, with white for purity, red for courage and the blue for justice. That our flag stands not only as a symbol for our country, but a symbol of our nation’s unity —our hopes, achievements, freedoms and the privilege we have as Americans. It is also a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who serve our country, who protect our freedoms and rights under our Constitution. Traditionally, the rivets from retired flags are given as a symbol of hope and protection to those who carry them. We would be honored for you to accept these rivets as a small thank you for your sacrifice.
Girl Scouts of St. Augustine


        Our Nation's Flag is a stirring sight
As it flutters proudly in the breeze
Its colors of blue, red and white
Mean so much to you and me
Red stands for courage and hardiness
The white means innocence and purity
Blue for justice, perseverance and vigilance
In its promise to keep us free.

This banner stands for a bountiful land,
Its government, people, and ideals,
The stripes from the thirteen colonies stand,
Its symbolism is very real.
Each State now is represented
By a star of white on blue
President Washington first presented
The American Flag to You.

Many brave men have fought and died
To protect it from dishonor and disgrace.
Wives have mourned and mothers have cried
So we could remain...the United States.
The sight of this Banner brings feeling of joy,
Of courage, pride and freedom to all.
A symbol of our nation in all it's glory,
On the moon Old Glory stands tall.

------- June 13, 2011 -------------

All of our shipments are now complete! We are now at 14 Adopted Overseas Soldiers for the close of our 2011 Cookies-4-Soldiers service project. One of our soldiers is now back stateside and another one came across our desks that we added in this last shipment. We are going to try to get another package together this summer for him before he returns home in October. Thanks to the donors and a special thanks to all the Girl Scout Troops that made this project a success - Troops 324, 1119, 864, 1134, & 674 and St. Augustine sister Troops 1422, 1280, 1290 & 1291!!

------- May 28, 2011 -------------

To Santa Maria del Mar Parishioners, VFW Ladies Auxillary, Palm Coast McDonalds and Bob Evans restaurants, and our many individual donors,

Thank you so very much for your support of our 2011 Cookies-4-Soldiers program. With your donations we were able to send each soldier 6 care packages stuffed with 6-8 boxes of cookies, magazines, candies, cards & letters. Last week we received another donation from the local chapter of the VFW which gives us enough to send them each one last package with a couple boxes of cookies and our thank you letters. This year's project was a great success in teaching our girls the importance of showing gratitude to our overseas military as well as having touched the hearts of the 13 soldiers that we adopted this year. We think there is no better way to thank you other than to share a letter we received from one of these soldiers.

Please continue to keep our special 13 in your prayers throughout the year,
Michele Coe & Michelle Haller, Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry

/////// Email from US Navy EN2(SW) Lawrence Lee///////////////////

Mrs Michele,

This Is EN2 (SW) Lawrence M Lee from the USS GARY writing again in regard to being one of your adopted soldiers. I would like to think you very much once again. Since my first message and package I have received many more packages. I am very blessed to have been adopted by you and I want to thank you for everything you and your girls have been doing for the Troops. You have kept up the morale of me and my guys here. We all love every package we have received. As soon as I get it I pass out the cookies and reading materials. They all get a little jealous when they see I got another package in and ask how I got chosen for this. Then I pass out the cookies and no one is complaining anymore. I really appreciate what all of you do for the Military and deployed soldiers. Please keep up the good work and I plan on donating what I can when I can. I will be transferred to Mayport, Fl shortly and would love to lend a helping hand when I could. Thanks again for everything you do.

V/R,
EN2 (SW) Lawrence M Lee
U.S. Navy FFG 51 USS GARY

/////// Email from US ARMY SPC Kevin Jones///////////////////
Sent: Apr 11, 2011 5:45 AM
Subject: Thank you for the boxes!
Everyone was so grateful for the boxes your Girl Scouts sent. I shared them with all of the soldiers I came across today. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely,
SPC Jones, Kevin

/////// News from Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry///////////////////
Date: Saturday, March 26th, 2011
We now have 13 Overseas Soldiers whom we prepared 40 care packages for on Saturday March 26th! Enjoy the pictures and notes from our Overseas Military!! A very special thanks to all the Girl Scout Troops that made this project a success - Troops 324, 1119, 864, 1134, & 674 and St. Augustine sister Troops 1422, 1280, 1290 & 1291!!




/////// Email from US ARMY Specialist Andrea Perry///////////////////
Date: Mar 25, 2011 10:28 AM
Hi! I received a second box today. I especially like the flag rivets. I've never heard of that tradition of turning them into gifts. I cleaned one of them up and added to my dogtag chain.
Thanks!
SPC Andrea Perry

/////// News from Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry///////////////////
Date: Tuesday, March 15th, 2011
We have 12 Overseas Soldiers Adoptions processed and are working to complete paperwork on another servicewoman. We are busy planning our next Care Packing Event for Saturday March 26th. It's exciting that some emails are coming to the girls from our adopted soldiers. Keep checking back as we will update this webpage as we receive correspondence. Our girls will be carrying the USA flag in the St. Patrick's Day parade in Flagler Beach Florida this weekend, a flag that we received last year from one of our soldiers stationed in Afghanistan that flew on a helicopter mission. The Irish Social Club has organized a fun day of activities that begins with a parade from Santa Maria del Mar parking lot Saturday morning @ 11am.


St. Patricks Parade!

/////// Email from US Navy EN2(SW) Lawrence Lee///////////////////
Date: Mar 14, 2011 7:03 PM
Ms. Michele,

I'm not sure how to start this email . There is so many things I would like to say. Starting off by, who I am. My name is Lawrence Lee. Currently serving and deployed in the United States Navy, I'd like to thank you for sending me a care package. I am very blessed to have received such a package. It was a very nice gesture. Thank you for boosting the Moral of me and my guys. They are enjoying theses delicious Girl Scout cookies with me. It seems as if you all knew exactly what to send me. I love all the cookies as well as the magazines. I would just like to thank you all very much. Thank you for everything you do and everything I received in my package. I liked the rings from the old retired flags also. That was very cool I have never seen that before. Please send my thanks to all the girls in Santa Maria Girl scout Ministry. Once again thank you for everything you do and God Bless.

V/R,
EN2(SW) LEE, LAWRENCE USN
USS GARY FFG-51
EA Division Leading Petty Officer

/////// Email from US ARMY Specialist Andrea Perry///////////////////
Date: Mar 14, 2011 7:19 AM
We received the care package your troop sent yesterday. I passed out the boxes of Girl Scout cookies to the other soldiers. Well, I did keep a box of Tagalongs for myself. They are my favorite! The magazines will definitely help pass the down time as well. It's nice to have reminders of home.

Thank you so much for thinking of us,
SPC Andrea Perry & 1-16 Infantry unit

/////// News from Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry///////////////////
Date: Sun, Feb 27, 2011
We have 11 Overseas Soldiers Adoptions processed and are working to complete paperwork on another 2 servicemen & women. Saturday February 26th we had our first Packing Event where 25 girls prepared 36 care packages with ~250 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, lots of condiments from McDonalds, Houligans and Bob Evans as well as candies donated from lots of well-wishers and very special cards made especially for our 13 adopted overseas soldiers. The girls had a great time preparing to spoil our adopted soldiers and made crafts and received USA tatoos & patriotic Red/Blue hair extensions. Care packages should begin shipping on Wednesday this week.

Awesome girls!




/////// News from US ARMY Specialist Andrea Perry's family///////////////////
Date: Thu, Feb 10, 2011
Our adopted soldier's husband made the local news at the base where their family relocated for her deployment. He's shoveling snow for deployed soldier families with his buddy. See the clip at: Sunflower Heroes: Wayne Perry

Here is a picture US ARMY Specialist Andrea Perry's husband shared with us so the girls can see the ladies she is working with as they prepare to be deployed this month to Afghanistan.



/////// Email from US Navy IT2(SW) Sean Macri ///////////////////
Date: Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 8:26 PM
Subject: Care Packages
Miss Debi,
I'm an Information Systems Technician, I work with communications in the 7th fleet. I love computers and video games. I also love to travel, but I would rather be home in the woods. My favorite cookies are by far the mint chocolate but the chocolate coconut rings come in at a close second.

I will be sharing this package with a few of my close friends out here that are in the Navy as well, if that is ok.

I truly appreciate everything your organization does and I am blessed to be a part of this operation. Thank you very much.

Very Respectfully,
IT2(SW) Macri, Sean
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Collecting Overseas Soldiers to adopt for our 2011 Cookies-4-Soldiers Service Project

  Our Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry would like to invite you to help us adopt Overseas Soldiers from your families or neighborhoods that you would like us to spoil by adopting them into our 2011 Cookies-4-Soldiers campaign. It involves getting the following information regarding the Soldier you want us to adopt.

What we need for each adopted soldier is:
  • Name of Soldier and Branch of service & Rank
  • Military address
  • Any Picture of the Soldier (to be used to help girls know who they are helping)
  • Name of Relative (email or phone number) so that I can get permission from them to adopt their soldier.
    (this is a DOD requirement that we have the family's express permission to send care packages to their Soldier).
  • Any facts the family would like to share - their favorite Girl Scout cookie, their hobbies, what they like to do....
  • Packages will begin shipping in late March, we contact the soldier's family when we send packages to them.



   

Pray for Our
2010 Adopted Soldiers




10 care packages shipped 03.15.2010
10 care packages shipped 03.29.2010
10 care packages shipped 04.07.2010
1 priority letter filled with cards
sent to 2 Marine brothers 04.07.2010
9 care packages shipped 04.19.2010
9 care packages shipped 04.28.2010
9 care packages shipped 05.29.2010
3 care packages shipped 06.02.2010

      Fourth Annual Cookies-4-Soldiers Campaign a success!!

April 17th Cookies-4-Soldiers Packing Event
An amazing thing happened today at our Cookies-4-Soldiers Packing Event!
As the girls were lined up from the Learning Center to my car carrying
all of the care packages that they made today, one of our adopted Soldiers
CJ Sorenson walked up in uniform to meet and thank the girls. It was
quite a moment for all the girls - especially the few that had just
personalized CJ's care packages and then they got to meet him in person!
CJ was on leave from Iraq for 3 days and drove down with his friend.
Father Al was there at that time and gave CJ a special blessing after
we sang God Bless America and prayed the Our Father together. It was a
special moment that we all shall remember for a very long time. What
a wonderful day!





And again we say thank you to the adult volunteers that helped at the
packing event, all the girls that came to make cards and prepare the
packages for shipping and to the many people whose donations made this
special day possible. Thank you to our adopted soldiers for their
service protecting the freedoms we enjoy.

We will keep posting emails we receive from our adopted soldiers below.
God Bless!
Michele Coe
Coach, Santa Maria Girl Scout Ministry


March Cookies-4-Soldiers Packing Event
March 19th, 2010
Dear Parishioners, Family and Friends,

We are in the middle of our 2010 Cookies-4-Soldiers Campaign and
things are going very well. On the left you can see our 10 Adopted
Soldiers serving our country overseas in the Middle East, Iraq and
Afganistan. We are so appreciative of the sacrifices they make for
our freedom each and every day of their military service to our country.

Thank you for helping us make this program such a success. Our first
round of care packages were shipped out on Monday. Without your
donations and support, we could not have had this opportunity to run
such a worthy campaign. Look at the smiles on the picture below of
all the girls that came to our first Packing event on March 13, 2010.
Two of the girls were the daughter of one of our soldiers and the
sister of one of our soldiers. It was wonderful to have this program
to help them by seeing our gratitude for what their family member is
doing by serving our country.

We have one more packing event planned for April 17th. Thanks again
for your support!

The Girl Scouts of Troop #324



Letters from the Soldiers:

/////// Email from Mike Barker ///////////////////
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I do give you and your Girl Scout Troops permission to adopt me and send a care package. About me: I was born and raised in the Orlando area. I joined the Army immediately after graduation from high school in 1993. I was a crew member on the Abrams tank for 3.5 years. I then switched jobs and became an EOD(Explosive Ordnance Disposal) Technician, aka, Bomb Squad. I have been on the Army Bomb Squad since 1998 and I have been deployed to Afghanistan once and I am currently serving on my fourth deployment to Iraq.

Back home in my spare time I love to be on the water with my jet skis. It does not matter if it is the ocean, a lake, or a river. If there is water, I will go! I have two favorite girl scout cookies, Samoas, and the kind that have the strawberry jam in the middle of them. I do not remember what they are called, but we had them while we were over here in 2004, and I have not seen them again. Those would be awesome if you can get ahold of some! LOL

I really do appreciate you taking the time to do this, and please tell your girls thank you from the bottom of our hearts! It means so much to know that people still think of us and to know that they care.


The picture of me in uniform was taken in Mosul, Iraq at our compound. The other picture was taken on Lake Fairview in Orlando.
Thanks again,
Mike


/////// Email from Maj. Mary Severson ///////////////////
Subject: Care Package
Date: Mar 31, 2010 9:56 AM

I just wanted to thank you and the girls for the care package and cookies. I was just going through my emails and noticed that one of my mom’s emails had your address in it. It was very thoughtful of the girls to think of those of us who are serving over here. We do appreciate the support we receive. It does mean a lot. I have the cards posted in my room and I have the cookies put up until Easter (I gave sweets up for Lent). I will bring them out Sunday, hopefully I will get at least one ;)

Things here are not as busy as what was projected. Which is always good when you care for wounded soldiers.

Thank you once again,
Maj Mary Severson


/////// Email from Maj. Mary Severson ///////////////////
Subject: RE: Care Package
Date: Apr 1, 2010 3:02 PM

This is an article about the group that I work with and what we do here in Afghanistan. The folks that are loading the patients on the ambulance and planes are my folks! I thought that you and your girls would enjoy learning more about aeromedical evacuation.

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/whispers.htm

thanks again and God bless!
Mary

/////// Email from Maj. Mary Severson ///////////////////
Subject: Care Package
Date: Apr 2, 2010 8:01 AM

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter. Enclosed is an Easter card that we received. We all love it and hope that you will too:).

Here is a picture of the cards the girls had sent me that I have posted in my room.

Wishing you all Easter Ninjas!
Love to all,
Mary

/////// Email from Fraklin Caraballo's Mother ///////////////////
Note: Franklin was wounded on patrol April 7th and is being treated in Germany. He will be coming stateside for treatment in Fort Stewart on Friday. We will keep his two lost buddies and their families in our prayers.
Subject: latest message from debbie caraballo
Date: Apr. 13, 2010

Frank & I would like to THANK everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and support through this time.. If it weren't for friends, family and those friends that are like family,we do not think we would have made it thru so easily. When Frankie was asked by Combat stress how he was handling this, he stated:

"I am a Christian, I have my faith, God has a reason & God has a plan, my heart goes out to our lost, but I was just another part of the plan" Amen .

Thank God for our faith and for all of you!

/////// Package from Maj. Mary Severson ///////////////////
Date: Apr 26, 2010

GS Troop #324 received a very cool package today from Major Mary Severson with a certificate that certifies that the enclosed USA Flag was flown on a combat Aeromedical Evacuation Mission over Afganistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. I can't wait to show the girls this friday at their meeting - they will be excited!


/////// Email from Maj. Mary Severson ///////////////////
Date: Jun 12, 2010 2:53 AM

Hi Michele, Kelly, Katina, Brandi, Brandi-Lynn, Christina, Maria, Melissa and Bianca,

I received your package today. Thank you. We were actually running low on cookies so perfect timing. Great group picture. It touched me that you will carry the flag in your next parade! I will hope that you will be able to use it often! I remember when I became a Girl Scout myself and the flag was there when I said my oath. That was a long time ago but I hope that you ladies get to have the flag there when you say your Girls Scout oath or receive you badges :) Go girl power!

You all touch so many lives in your ministry and you do make a difference here to the deployed soldiers, marines and airman! Knowing that we are appreciated by our counties youth and up and coming leaders makes what we do worth wild! Keep up the good work!!

We have a little over a month left. When I get home I will send you more pictures. I got to sit in an Apache helicopter a couple of days ago. That was very cool.

It is getting very hot here :( I am told that it can get up to 140 degrees. Can you imagine living in a place that hot? We saw another baby camel spider yesterday. We actually let it go, however later that day then he was found in one ladies PT sock so now we don't have to worry about him getting bigger.

Got to go. Love to everyone,
Mary



   

Pray for Our 2009 Adopted Soldiers




93 care packages shipped 03.23-05.29.2009

Army - Amber Diamond
  - 14 care packages
Sgt Jesses James VanKurin
  - 6 care packages
Thomas Dominessy
  - 9 care packages
TJ Binder
  - 8 care package
SFC Tavares Burton
  - 6 care packages
Coach Leona Brown
  - 11 care packages
Cpl Matthew Bochiardy
  - 8 care packages
Cpl Jonathan W Keen
  - 10 care packages
Spc Derrell Russ
  - 9 care packages
Spc Kevin Jones
  - 6 care packages
Sgt Joe Buccini
  - 6 care packages







 
      Third Annual Cookies-4-Soldiers Campaign a success!!


April 3rd, 2009

To our SMDM parishioners,

We wanted to give you an update as we are sending out another set of “America Supports You” packages to our adopted soldiers. It’s very exciting now as we are starting to get letters from the soldiers and they are most appreciative. We are so blessed to have this opportunity to share this service project with our girls due to the generosity of our wonderful parish.

In all we will ship a total of 93 "America Supports You" packages containing 658 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, condiments donated by McDonalds, local newspapers, penny candies and personalized cards from the girls as well as some cards signed by our parishioners. The overall status is that 25 of our 51 completed packages have shipped. At our last Cookies-4-Soldiers packing event on Saturday April 25th the girls will box up the last ~36 packages. We expect that all the packages will ship by the end of May.

This poster is our way of saying Thank You to our generous parish and also a way that we can communicate to you by posting the letters we receive from our Adopted Soldiers.

Please keep our 15 Adopted Soldiers in your prayers!

May God bless you,

Michele Coe
Leader Cadette Troop #324
Coach - Santa Maria del Mar Cluster
Golden Sands Service Unit , Girl Scouts of Gateway Council

Letters from the Soldiers:

/////// Email from Derell Russ ///////////////////
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009
Subject: thank you

Hello i am SPC Russ i received a box of girl scouts cookies in the mail last night and i wanted to tell you thank you very much and to the girls from troops 324..may god bless, bye

/////// Email from Leona Brown ///////////////////
09:24 PM 4/7/2009

Hello,

This is Coach/SPC Brown. I wanted to send a word of thanks on the behalf of myself and the soldiers of the 715th MP CO. We are very appreciative for the goodies that you sent us. Thank you for your committment and sacrifice in supporting us as we continue to do and complete the mission that has been given to us. Once again thank you for your acts of kidness and consideration towards us.

Very Respectfully,
Leona "Coach" Brown

/////// Email from Jonathan Keen///////////////////
8 April 2009

Sorry for the late response, I am currently on a naval vessel and as you can tell from the news theres alot going on out here at the moment.

Thank you for everything that you guys are doing. When a box of girl scout cookies gets here, its like christmas morning for the marines. We really appreciate it. My wife moved back to St. Augustine until I can return to the states, im sure she would love to meet the girls and help out anyway that she can. If you guys need a hand with anything please let me know and ill give her some information.

Tell the girls thank you and God bless. Much love.
Cpl Keen

/////// Email from Sgt. Buccini ///////////////////
10:39 AM 5/29/2009

Thank you again, I sent another e-mail to you moments ago. If any of your girls have any questions please have feel free to ask.


   

2008
Pray for our Overseas Military



872 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies sent via Orlando & Jax Navy Reserves & Soldier program in Lutz


 
      2nd Annual Cookies-4-Soldiers Campaign


Delivered the following through our contacts:

25 cases 3/6/08 to Navy Reserves NOSC-Orl
25 cases 4/9 to Navy Reserves NOSC-Jax
17.67 cases (272 boxes) 4/11 to Lutz, Florida

Thank you to our SMDM parishioners & other donars that made this possible!

   
2007 Campaign
Celebrate Our
Red, White & Blue!!
Junior Troop 324 promoting Cookies From Home
Our Girl Scout Cookies from Home campaign

Troop 324 sold 683 boxes of Girl Scout cookies for our military abroad through the generous donations to our Cookies from Home campaign. We were all overwhelmed by the support through our local churches and the general public.

28 cards with personal messages from home and 300 boxes sent have already arrived in Iraq and the messages have been coming back to our girls.

Enjoy the wonderful letters our military have been sending home to our girls. We are so proud of our soldiers and also proud of the support our Junior girls have shown for them.

God Bless America!!

Thank you for the generosity of our community that enabled our Troop to exceed our goals!!

An extra special thank you to:
the parishioners of Santa Maria
del Mar Catholic Church,
and the customers of:
Winn Dixie,
Walgreens,
Blockbuster,
Publix
and Walmart!

Junior Troop 324 promoting Cookies From Home
Troop 324 Juniors

Our Golden Sands Service Unit collected enough donations to our Cookies from Home campaign to send over 1400 cookies to our deployed military personnel.

Thank you for the generosity of our Flager County community!

God Bless the men and women serving our country!!

     
Letters from the Soldiers:

/////// Email from Louis D'Angelo ///////////////////
Sent Thu 3/22/2007

Hello,
I am one of the 557 members here at Al Asad. I want to thank you and all
of those who participated and coordinated in the sending of Girl Scout
cookies to MSgt. Judd. He has been very generous with them. I cannot
tell you the joy I felt when boxes of cookies, especially my favorite,
Thin Mints, showed up. I knew something was missing this time of year,
and they were it. My daughter is a Girl Scout, so the whole cookie thing
is a prominent yearly event. I am sure you can imagine that any taste of
home (pun intended) is appreciated.

Thanks again,
Louis D'Angelo


/////// Email from J NELSON McLEOD III, Lt Col, USAF ///////////////////
Sent Wed 3/21/2007

Ms Dickinson,

Thanks for the efforts of you and the group who sent MSgt Mike Judd 300
boxes of Girl Scout Cookies. As everyone knows, they are a great
American tradition and a great tradition among deployed military
members. I am the son and the husband of former Girl Scout cookie
coordinators and remember many days with garages full of cookies being
issued out to the girls.

If you work with MSgt Judd, I do not have to tell you what a great
individual he is and how much he means to our team here.

Thanks again for your support of our troops!

Nelson McLeod

J NELSON McLEOD III, Lt Col, USAF
Al Asad Spoke Commander
557th Expeditionary RED HORSE Squadron


/////// Email from Jeraline A. Humphrey, TSgt ///////////////////
Sent Wed 3/21/2007
Thank you so very much for the cookies. What a bright and cheery way to
remember us way over here. Girl Scout cookies are always a treat, any
time and every year. Everyone was smiling and extremely happy to see
something which means so much of home in Iraq.

Thank you again for thinking of us.

Jeraline A. Humphrey, TSgt
Information Manager\Communications\Operations
557ERHS/USAF
Al Asad, Iraq


/////// Email from Staff Sgt. A. Dominguez ///////////////////
Sent Wed 3/21/2007
Hello Girl Scouts and Mrs. Dickinson,
I am writing in regards to the many thanks that we would like to give
you all for the girl scout cookies. Though they added a few pounds on to
many of us, we were very impressed with the amount that there was and
delight it brought us all. So once again I would like to thank you all
from here Al Asad, Iraq. Keep up the good work.

Staff Sgt. A. Dominguez
144th Civil Engineer Squadron
Fresno, Ca

PS: I have included a special piture for you all to enjoy. Good bye and
god bless.

Picture sent from Iraq


/////// Email from Judd, Michael W MSgt 557 ERHS ///////////////////
Sent Tue 3/20/2007

I received 7 of the 8 boxes of cookies yesterday. The other one will
probably be along in a day or two. Thank you very much for your
generosity. I've been giving them out all day and the troops love them.
Several would like to send e-mails thanking the donors. Can they e-mail
you?

Thanks again...Mike



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