In 2014, Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay celebrate the 11th anniversary of Operation Taste of Home. Eleven years ago, the council was flooded with inquiries from the community and Girl Scout troops about how they could help make a difference for armed forces stationed overseas. Community service is a hallmark of Girl Scouting, so in response, Operation Taste of Home was born.
During the last nine years, the program has expanded to include organizations across the Delmarva Peninsula, including food banks and pantries, blood banks, cancer centers and youth programs - with a total of 350,752 boxes donated.
Master Sgt. Frank Reuter of the U.S. Army expressed his gratitude for receiving donated boxes of Girl Scout cookies while stationed in Afghanistan: “Thank you very much for the cookies that were sent because of your efforts,” he wrote to Girl Scouts across the Delmarva Peninsula. “Everybody here in Afghanistan always enjoys a taste of home. We are grateful for all of your hard work and dedication.”
In 2013, 27,787 boxes of Operation Taste of Home cookies were purchased and donated to 12 military support organizations, including the USO at Dover Air Force Base, Steel Magnolia Ministries, Operation We Care and the Military Support Affinity Group, as well as nearly 100 local charities across the Delmarva Peninsula.
Operation Taste of Home not only helps soldiers and local agencies, but also supports local Girl Scout troops by funding important programs for girls living in Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia. All the proceeds from a local council's cookie activities remain in the area where the cookies are sold.
Customers may buy cookies for $4 per box and designate their purchase to Operation Taste of Home. This contribution is tax-deductible. Customers will not receive the boxes of cookies they purchase for this service project. The council will make arrangements for the delivery the boxes of cookies to the service men and women overseas and to the local agencies.
To donate cookies through Operation Taste of Home, call the Cookie Hotline at 1-800-YUM-YUM-2, visit one of the many cookie booth sales across the peninsula in February and March, or send a check made payable to GSCB, with OTH on the memo line, to Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, 501 S. College Avenue, Newark, DE 19713.
To learn more about Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, visit www.GSCB.org or call 1-800-341-4007 or 1-800-374-9811.