Jade Golembiewski, 8, left, and her sister, Olivia, 10, will be part of this weekend's effort collecting items to send to U.S. troops deployed overseas. The Girl Scouts are including boxes of their cookies. (Robin Buckson / The Detroit News)
Two Metro Detroit Girl Scout troops are making it their mission to send something sweet to troops overseas along with care packages.
Billed as Valentine’s 4-R Troops, Girl Scouts Olivia Golembiewski, 10, and her sister, Jade, 8, of Macomb Township, are holding their second donation drive to send the packages, which will include boxes of Girl Scout cookies, to Michiganians serving overseas.
“They love getting them because it's something to remind them of home,” said their mother, Brenda Golembiewski, who leads daughter Olivia’s Juniors Troop 30318. “... We send every flavor that Girl Scouts make.”
It seems military men and women overseas miss their Girl Scout cookies.
“We even had one soldier write the Thin Mints were melted together, but ‘we loved them and ate them all anyway,’” Golembiewski said.
Jade, whose Brownies Troop 74151 is also lending a hand, and Olivia made red, white and blue posters and buttons and will wear T-shirts with their “Valentine’s 4-R Troops” logos.
“We just wanted to send a thank you back,” Olivia said.
The Girls Scouts will be at Nino Salvaggio’s in Clinton Township and Troy from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, collecting donations of phone cards, gift cards, including those for music downloads, and money. “We’re very proud to support our military and Michigan families by raising gift packages,” said Frank Nicolella, store manager in Clinton Township.
Last year, the sisters collected money from more than 400 businesses, enough to send 1,689 boxes of cookies through the nonprofit Operation Troop Aid.
This year, the troop decided to up the ante. From Do-Si-Dos to Trefoils, they hope to raise enough to send an assortment of 2,500 boxes of cookies. After speaking with Operation Troop Aid CEO Mark Woods, the troops decided to ask for other items to package with the cookies.
Family members can enter their deployed member of the military in a raffle for the phone cards by bringing a postage-paid envelope addressed to that person during the drive.