Plymouth-Canton Girl Scout Troops will take shifts at two local Kroger stores on Saturday to sell their famous Girl Scout cookies as part of the second-ever Operation Treats for Military Troops in honor of Memorial Day.
The Girls Scouts are asking the public to make donations, which will be used to buy cookies and send them to U.S. soldiers at home and overseas. Donors also can write a personal message that will be sent along with the cookies.
"We know that there are soldiers who appreciate us and we get letters from them all the time," Patricia Pancioli, Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan communications specialist said. "And they (the soldiers) cannot express enough appreciation for being remembered, especially when they're in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of them have brought us to tears. It's been a really important lesson to the girls and a really valuable service to our armed forces."
The Treats for Military Troops idea started as an expansion from the Girl Scout's Gift of Caring program.
"Girls Scouts have always identified a charity for which to sell cookies," Pancioli said. "So if a customer didn't want to order cookies for themselves, they could make a gift of caring donation. So this (Treats for Troops) is sort of an expansion of that idea. The girls are not only earning for their troops, but their learning about philanthropy and giving back to the community as they sell cookies."
For Bridgette Cramton, a Workman Elementary Daisy Troop leader, the Treats for Military Troops reaches both her and her daughter, Faith, 7, on a more personal level.
Cramton's 21-year-old son, Army Spc. Alec Murphy, just deployed to Afghanistan in March with the 32nd Infantry.
"My daughter's kind of upset about her brother being in Afghanistan," Cramton said. "So this is a way for her to feel better too. They're pretty connected and he's pretty nurturing towards her."
Cramton found out about the event through the Girl Scout Council and decided her troop would participate.
"It really fit into our community service, kind of winding down the year for the girls," she said. "It just felt right. As troop leaders we like to emphasize giving back and being a part of the community."
The Kroger stores are located at 44525 W. Ann Arbor Rd. in Plymouth and 2828 S. Canton Center Rd. in Canton. Girl Scout Troops will be on hand accepting donations from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Veterans' groups, such as the VFW and American Legion will assist the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan with shipping the cookies to soldiers.