Lend a Hand: Scouts’ treats ideal for troops

Midlands residents can team up with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to send a little cheer to the troops overseas.

The Mid-America Council of the Boy Scouts is in the middle of its Trails End popcorn sale, which runs through March 23. Packages of popcorn for the military can be purchased through individual Scouts, Scout troops or online at www.mac-bsa.org.

Last year area Boy Scouts sold more than $100,000 worth of popcorn that was given to Offutt Air Force Base, the 85th Wing in Sioux City, Iowa, and other military organizations.

Bob Keeton, a Boy Scout now serving in the Navy, said the USO gives the popcorn to any military member.

Door-to-door sales of Girl Scout cookies are finished, but cookie booths are still selling.

The Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa — which covers 71 counties in Iowa, two counties in South Dakota and Nebraska’s Dakota County — will have cookie booths open through April 10. At the Iowa booths, people can donate to the Treats for Troops cookie program, which sets aside packages of cookies to be sent to deployed soldiers, said Erin Johnson, southwest Iowa regional director of the Girl Scouts.

In Nebraska, Girls Scouts ran a Gift of Sharing program during door-to-door sales. Scout troops that sold cookies through the program were given the option of sending those cookies to the troops or to other charities.

“A very large amount over the last three years have gone to the military,” said Denise Moore, product program director for the Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska.

People still can purchase cookies for the troops at the cookie booths, open in Nebraska from March 18 through April 3, but the purchasers will be responsible for sending the cookies overseas.

For cookie booth locations in the two states, go to girlscoutsiowa.org (accessible now) or to girlscoutsnebraska.org (accessible March 18).

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