Spouses’ club donates, delivers thousands of baked goods to troops

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Elora J. McCutcheon
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

Nearly 3,000 cookies and desserts were donated, assembled and delivered to 600 dorm residents here by the Malmstrom Spouses’ Club and First Sergeants Council Dec. 16-17, 2022.

The annual cookie drive, inspired by the holiday spirit of giving, is organized by members of the base community to provide Airmen baked goods and the comfort of “home” during the wintry months.

The sweet treats were not only donated by spouses and friends on base, but out of state supporters to include Wisconsin-based Operation Home Baked: a program whose volunteers have collectively baked 40,000 cookies this year to send to troops across the country.

Jill Duffney, 12th Missile Squadron unit program coordinator and Malmstrom Spouses’ Club president, was the charge behind the drive this year. Following two smaller cookie drives impacted by COVID-19, Duffney was motivated to make this year’s event a great one.

“I was determined to bring some holiday cheer to the Airmen,” she chuckled as her hands flurried beneath her, opening decorated paper bags in preparation to be filled with cookies by volunteers. “I just joined the spouses’ club in the last few years and think it’s fun being able to volunteer at events like these, especially around Christmas.”

Holiday music played from a nearby radio as the group of volunteers sorted through thousands of baked goods that were organized on four long tables in the heart of the base chapel, which headquartered the entire operation.

One of the volunteers, Layla Yost, shared that her motivation to support the drive came from a place of understanding the Airmen who would be benefitted by the generosity of their community.

“I work with the Airmen who live in the dorms,” she explained. “It’s nice to know we can give something to them when they’re away from their families.”

Yost and fellow volunteers went through trays, plastic bags and cardboard boxes filled to the brim with a colorful assortment of sweets like snickerdoodles, red velvet cookies, brownies, pink-frosted sugar cookies and green pistachio cookies; each individual placed four or five goods into hand-decorated paper bags which were then sorted into boxes for delivery.

The white paper bags, cleverly designed by the children of Malmstrom’s Youth Group, were vibrantly colored with inked drawings like “mistle-toes” accompanied by a sketched foot.

Once all cookies were evenly distributed between the 600 bags and organized into boxes for pickup, first sergeants picked up the goods and personally delivered them to the dorms.