The following editorial by Sen. Dawn Addiego (R-8) on her district office’s cookie drive to benefit members of the military serving overseas was published on Dec. 12, 2018, in The Burlington County Times.
Sen. Dawn Addiego’s editorial on her office’s cookie drive to benefit military overseas was published on Dec. 12, 2018 in The Burlington County Times. (Flickr)
This is about the time of year when the weather goes from brisk to the type of cold that smacks your face as soon as you step outside. Families put the cover over the grill, swapping dinners outdoors for the indoor warmth of the oven. While the calendar on the wall above the dinner table plans out your meals for the week, the weekend is circled for a special activity that the kids participate in.
Baking holiday cookies with the family is a time-honored tradition. Parents will always have the memories of bringing recipes to life with their children. The kids roll the dough or mix the batter in a bowl without any fear of making a mess on the table, while the sweet smell of the last batch permeates through the kitchen.
Little moments like this are often ones we take for granted that plenty of people in our country don’t get to experience. That includes certain members of our military. Our men and women serving overseas made the decision to trade in the tastes and smells of the holiday for a full time job protecting our freedom.
To volunteer your time to give those senses back to them is an incredibly compassionate endeavor. That’s exactly what Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey does every year. On December 1st, I witnessed as dozens of volunteers from all over the area filled my office in Medford to help collect, package and ship out thousands of pounds of holiday cookies.
While the volunteers worked to organize everything, even more people came to drop off their own homemade cookies; treats they spent hours to make for people they never met. Some even included personal letters to warm the hearts of our soldiers overseas.
Thousands of miles away in the Middle East, one of our American soldiers will be eating a chocolate chip cookie, thinking about how similar it tastes to his or her mom’s recipe, and reminiscing on recent holidays spent at home with their families.
Operation Yellow Ribbon has found a way to spread holiday cheer across the globe to our men and women that deserve it the most, and for that, I am greatly appreciative of them and the rest of the community that help make this happen every year.