Sunday, May 28, 2006

Hometown Support the Troops: Cookies from the heart of Basehor

As of Monday, Captain Jay Scrivener had not received his first "Treats for the Troops" package. But, the 38-year-old Scrivener, who is stationed with the Army National Guard in Baghdad, knows the package is on its way.

And he told his wife, Gina Scrivener, he plans to share the cookies and other treats with his unit.

Gina, who lives east of Basehor with their 9-month-old son, Gunnar, knows there's nothing like home-baked goodies. Her husband has been in Iraq since November.

"That seems to be that the biggest thing that they were wanting is homemade items," Scrivener said. "There are a lot of things that you can get over there at the PX, but homemade cookies are what they miss."

So she's started a mission to send, on the first week of each month, cookies and other homemade treats, to Baghdad where her husband will distribute them to other military personnel.

Gina Scrivener said she started her project by writing a letter that was printed in the Basehor First Baptist Church's newsletter.

In her letter, Scrivener said if people would bake cookies, she would pick them up on the first Sunday of the month at church.

Then, at her home, she vacuum-seals bags of cookies and packs them in boxes to mail. And, Scrivener said, she will pay the postage.

This is still a fledgling program, with the first box shipped to an APO New York address earlier this month.

It's a project Scrivener hopes will take flight.

She noted the first month's shipment included more than cookies. Included among the goodies were beef jerky, chewing gum and bags of microwavable popcorn.[snip]

While Gina has gotten her church involved in the project, other area residents are helping, as well.

Betty Scheller, who lives across the road from Gina, heard about the project, and is helping.

"I thought, ‘Now that's something I'd like to do' and I asked her if I could help," Scheller said.

Since then, Scheller has baked several batches of cookies and brownies for the project.

And, Scheller writes a note to include with each pack of cookies. Last week her notes read, "We are so pleased what you are doing for our country. You are in our prayers every day!"

Fred Box, commander of Basehor's VFW Post 11499, said the chapter has adopted Scrivener.

"We just keep in touch with him through e-mail and we paid for his first year of membership to the VFW," Box said.

Box said the VFW members have told Jay that if he needs assistance with anything they'll do whatever it takes to help.[snip]

"I can't stress how much support Gunnar and I have received from our church," Gina said. "They have been lifesavers. ... The church has been extremely helpful while Jay's been gone -- they've been my second family."

The Tonganoxie Mirror: Cookies from the heart of Basehor

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