"It’s much harder to be sad while eating a cookie ...."
In a quote generally attributed to Jim Henson’s Cookie Monster, the Sons of The American Legion Detachment of New Jersey’s Children & Youth Commission found inspiration in how to make the day of our veterans a little sweeter through a project called “Cookies for Vets.” Working with a few troops of Girl Scouts, the Sons coordinated a project spread over five months that resulted in $2,200 of Girl Scout cookies being delivered to the New Jersey VA hospitals in Lyons and East Orange.
“It made me feel like I was doing something to make the veterans feel happy, to let them know there are people out there who care about them and want to help them,” noted Lilianna Giannone from Troop 20122, who helped deliver the cookies.
Girl Scouts from Troops 20122, 20052, 20462, as well as young Sons, SAL members from Squadron 105 of Belleville, and members from the Detachment Children & Youth Commission, made the delivery to the two North Jersey VA campuses in early April, which is National American Legion Children & Youth Month. The scouts, mostly from Nutley, took time out of their spring break to deliver cookies to satisfy the sweet tooth of veterans staying both short- and long-term at the VA hospitals.
The “Cookies for Vets” project, being run for a second year, is part of the Sons of The American Legion’s commitment to two of its core pillars – Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, and Children & Youth. The Detachment of New Jersey, the state-level element of the SAL organization, began raising money in December for this project.
“The contribution means a lot for the fact that it helps the steadiness of our commitment to serving those who fought for our freedom", wrote VA.
On this first Thursday in April, first came a drop-off of 210 boxes to the Lyons Campus, then a half-hour drive to the East Orange campus where the group dropped off the other 210 boxes and met with the VA staff they had been in contact with over the past few months. At each location, the girls formed a ‘bucket brigade’, where they passed the boxes from an SUV filled to the brim with cookies to the loading dock. The smiles and laughter in passing along the cookies from the Scouts and young Sons melted the heart of everyone who was there.
Scout Brinley Sullivan summed up “Cookies for Vets” perfectly: “Delivering cookies made me feel like I was giving back … A token of thanks.”