Sweet dreams are made of this … The Sons of The American Legion (SAL) Detachment of New Jersey Children & Youth Commission, along with Girl Scouts from two North Jersey troops, helped satisfy the sweet tooth of veterans in the VA hospitals at both Lyons and East Orange with a drop-off on April 18 of over $1,000 worth of Girl Scout cookies.
“It's important for us to honor and serve our country's veterans as well as to take time to lift their spirits by delivering GS cookies,” said Girl Scout Troop 20122 Junior Eliana Spangle, who helped make the delivery to the East Orange campus of the VA.
"Cookies for our Vets" ended up being a project spearheaded by the SAL NJ state-level Children & Youth Commission, involving and collaborating with other committees throughout the Legion Family as well as the Girl Scout Heart of New Jersey Council. The project was rolled out in April, which has been designated by The American Legion since 1938 as National Children & Youth Month.
The genesis for this project was the yearly sale, which we all know and love, of Girl Scout cookies by troops around the world. The Girl Scouts of the United States of America states that “When you buy delicious Girl Scout Cookies, you’re helping girls fund life-changing programs, experiences and learning for themselves and their troops all year long. These experiences broaden their worlds, teach them essential skills and launch them into a lifetime of success.”
New Jersey’s Girl Scouts have for a number of years been proving what a sweet world we live in by asking those buying cookies to donate boxes to our troops abroad through ‘Project Jersey Cares’, something many squadrons of the SAL do on their own.
This ‘Cookies for our Vets’ project had taken that a step further – and raised money to purchase cookies from the Scouts of the Nutley and Belleville, N.J., area to give to veterans who are short- or long-term residents of VA facilities in NJ.
A key component of the project was always to have the Scouts deliver the cookies and chat with the vets in-person, so they could see where the cookies go, and bring a little sunshine into the day of the residents of VA Lyons and East Orange. Unfortunately, due to the COVID pandemic, the hospitals required a drop-off, so the Scouts couldn’t give them directly to the veterans. Still, the scouts, as well as a young seven-year old SAL, took time from their spring breaks to deliver the cookies to staff at the hospitals.