Airmen’s Holiday Cookie Drive is almost here

Tech. Sgt. Season Hurley, 88th Medical Support Squadron, packs an assortment of homemade cookies into boxes Dec. 6, 2017, at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base USO Community Center during the annual cookie drive. Boxes of donated cookies are to be distributed this holiday season to some 1,100 unaccompanied Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo/R.J. Oriez)

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Tech. Sgt. Season Hurley, 88th Medical Support Squadron, packs an assortment of homemade cookies into boxes Dec. 6, 2017, at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base USO Community Center during the annual cookie drive. Boxes of donated cookies are to be distributed this holiday season to some 1,100 unaccompanied Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo/R.J. Oriez)

More than 1,100 hungry unaccompanied Airmen at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base are hopeful someone wants to fill them with holiday happiness – via home-baked cookies packed in individual boxes. The base’s first responders also will benefit.

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The 18th annual Airmen’s Holiday Cookie Drive is set for Dec. 5 from 6 a.m. to noon at the USO Community Center, Bldg. 1222, Kittyhawk Center, Area A. There are, however, multiple curbside drop-off locations for cookie donors’ convenience that day:

• USO Community Center, 7 to 9 a.m.

• Prairies Chapel, Bldg. 6568, 682 Chapel Lane, Area B, 7 to 9 a.m.

• National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Bldg. 828, Area A, inside the main building’s main door, near Starbucks, 6 to 8 a.m.

• Wright Field Fitness Center, Area B, 6 to 8 a.m.

Donation pledges should be emailed to Wrightpattcookies@yahoo.com. Any questions or offers to volunteer to package cookies can also be directed to this email address.

Bakers are asked to label their cookie donations if they contain “no nuts” or “no gluten” so they can be taken to a dedicated table and included in boxes for Airmen with specific allergies.

All donations should be delivered in disposable packaging.

Staff Sgt. Jazmyn Turner, vice president of the Wright-Patterson Enlisted Spouses’ Club and cookie drive chair, said more than 35,000 cookies were donated last year.

“We’re hoping to surpass that this year,” she said.

So far, 2,000-plus cookies have been pledged this year, Turner noted.

The sweet goods are eagerly awaited by their recipients, she said. Each Airman receives one dozen cookies, placed on his or her bed by a first sergeant.

“A lot of times it’s an Airman’s first Christmas away from home. It means a lot to know people are out there thinking about them,” she said. “It feels like you have family here – even when you’re not with your actual family. It supports the family mindset among the military members.”

First responders from the 88th Security Forces Squadron, the Wright-Patterson Fire Department, emergency room workers at the Wright-Patterson Medical Center and flightline personnel will receive baked goods, too.

“Last year I drove around to every single gate, dropping off cookies just so they had something and didn’t think we that we would forget about them,” Turner said.

“Especially with the first responders, a lot of them don’t get holiday times off and are there, taking care of us instead of being at home. Having the baked goods and knowing people are thinking about them is a great thing,” she said.

“Add us to your calendar,” Turner said. “We need lots of bakers and lots of volunteers. We’re very thankful for everyone’s time and efforts to make this a successful event.

The cookie drive is sponsored by the Wright-Patterson Enlisted Spouses’ Club, Wright-Patterson Officers’ Spouses’ Club, First Command Bank, First Sergeants Council, United Service Organization of Central and Southern Ohio and the City of Fairborn.

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