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Operation Oreo bringing troops a taste of home

AFUMC in Alpharetta collects Oreos every year to donate to troops

Patrick Cash, left, donated 1,500 packages of Oreos to Rev. Don Martin's Operation Oreo. Jessa Pease. (click for larger version)
July 16, 2013
ALPHARETTA, Ga. —Oreos are something most Americans take for granted, but the small cookie is one thing a lot of U.S. soldiers dream about overseas.

A local pastor was on a plane and sitting next to a solider, so he decided to be a friendly seat neighbor and start a conversation. When Rev. Don Martin, senior pastor at Alpharetta First United Methodist Church, asked the soldier what he missed most, his response surprised him.

"At the end of the conversation I asked him, 'while you were oversees what did you miss most?'" said Martin. "And he said, just like that, 'Oreos, double stuffed.'"

Once Martin returned home, he decided to make it his mission to collect Oreos to send overseas. Since the encounter in 2009, the church has collected the cookies every year, and along with his congregation, Martin hopes to continue the tradition.

"We've been doing it ever since and we'll keep doing in until there's no soldiers overseas," said Martin.

AFUMC welcomes donations not only from members of their church, but anyone who wants to donate. They collect up until the Sunday prior to July 4, when they have a patriotic celebration.

"We pull out all the stops and recognize all the people in the congregation who have served in the military," said Martin. "We play their armed forces song and have them stand. This year we gave them a small pack of six Oreos to thank them for their service."

Martin sent flyers to the community to collect more Oreos.

A veteran, Patrick Cash, partner at Bluestor Networks, saw a flyer and wanted to help.

"As a business owner in the local community, when this opportunity came up it leapt out at us to take part and give back," said Cash. "After being overseas and knowing what it's like to miss home, having an opportunity to get a little taste of home was always nice because you knew somebody back in the states was thinking about you and they cared."

Cash and his company donated 1,500 packs of Oreos, half of AFUMC's 3,000 goal, which they exceeded to 6,100 packages.

The packages contain a sentimental piece of home as well to let the troops know they are missed.

"We generally put notes and colored pictures from the kids," said Martin. "Sometimes it's just a picture from a kid that says 'we love you.'"

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Tags: Community & Outreach

  1. report print email
    July 17, 2013 | 10:08 AM

    Milano's are much better you know!

  2. report print email
    July 20, 2013 | 07:35 PM

    The point of the story is not the kind of cookie. It is the fact that AFUMC is giving cookies overseas to the solders after Dr. Don met that man on a plane.

  3. report print email
    Oreo Cookies and Veterans
    July 29, 2013 | 12:12 PM

    Wow, this is great community support for our in-service solders away from home! It’s amazing how something so small and often taken for granted by us, is so greatly appreciated by another far away. I guess it really is the “little things” that make a difference.
    It is nice to read stories like this - a disabled veteran coming home back and helping to support those still in the field. These are the guys we really need to find a way to support when they come back to our community.

  4. report print email
    Great story
    July 29, 2013 | 03:51 PM

    I think that it is wonderful that the United Methodist in Alpharetta do this for the Veterans. It is even cooler that another Veteran and the company he works for wanted to help out in a big way.

  5. report print email
    I love Oreos
    July 29, 2013 | 03:52 PM

    This is a great idea. I Love Oreos

    Nick Johnson
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