ALPHARETTA, Ga. Nothing reminds soldiers of home more than some comfort foods from home. By June 29, Alpharetta First United Methodist Church (AFUMC) hopes to collect two tons of Oreo cookies. The annual cookie drive, known as Operation Oreo, provides service members with a taste of home as a show of appreciation for the armed forces.
The drive concludes June 29 with Patriotic Sunday worship services. The Oreos will be sent to military chaplains in Afghanistan and distributed to service members stationed at forward operating bases Fentry and Gamberi, and at Shindand, Kandahar and Bagram air bases.
Operation Oreo began in 2009 with a chance encounter between the Rev. Don Martin, senior pastor, and a young soldier aboard a plane, returning from duty in Iraq.
When Martin asked him what he missed most while away, the young man replied, without hesitation, "Oreos, Double Stuf!"
Every summer since then, AFUMC has collected and shipped packages of Oreos to servicemen and servicewomen overseas. With support from community organizations such as the Lions Club and Boy Scouts, the cookie drive has been an important ministry of the church.