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The Strength Behind The Strong was founded by Christine Hofmann-Bourque, who is proud to have a husband in the Army, three brothers in the Navy and Army, and a sister-in-law in the Army. Christine is also a professional journalist. Read our first post to find out why this website is so close to her heart. More >>

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Operation Cookie Overload Update: 13 mailing days left, 225 hungry Marines!

This Thanksgiving weekend, we’re grateful for the sacrifices of the men and women in our military, especially those who spent the holiday far from their families and friends. We’re also grateful for the amazing supporters of our troops who are participating in Operation Cookie Overload. Our numbers keep rising: We now have 132 people/groups from 35 states sending cookie-filled care packages to Marines in Afghanistan for Christmas!

We started Operation Cookie Overload to help make the holidays sweeter for a 19-year-old Marine who will be in Afghanistan this holiday season. We thought we could get a handful of nice folks to send a few cookie care packages to this young man to share with his buddies. We had no idea so many people would want to bake and ship packages! So we’re now on a mission to overload his entire Marine unit — all 225 of them — with cookies!

If you haven’t joined us yet, there is still time. (See our contact information below.) The deadline for mailing Priority Mail packages through the U.S. Postal Service is December 10th in order to guarantee delivery by December 25th. Please keep spreading the word about Operation Cookie Overload!

Terri from Virginia sent her Operation Cookie Overload boxes right before Thanksgiving. Her treats? Three kinds of cookies, beef jerky, and lots of candies.

So who is participating? We have Vietnam veterans and Gulf War veterans. There are grandmothers and their grandchildren, Marine moms, Army wives, a Marine sister, and roommates who just want to say “thanks.” We have Postal Service employees and firefighters, hospital workers and Girl Scout troops. There are even several cookie swap parties that will be making a few extra boxes for our Marines. We can’t think of a more thoughtful way to get in the holiday spirit. 

For those of you who are still putting your packages together, we want to pass along this terrific tip from Sharon from Indiana, who says she’s been sending cookie-filled military care packages for years: “I usually send things that have both nuts and NO nuts with my packages. I always mark each inner bag with what the item is and if it has nuts or not. I don’t figure the Marines that are in remote areas usually have allergies to nuts, but not everyone likes to eat them.” 

Heart-shaped brownies heading to Afghanistan for Operation Cookie Overload from Marguerite from California. (Click the picture, above, to read her blog posting.)

Do you have questions about Operation Cookie Overload? Get the details here:

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Reader Comments (3)

Dear Christine,
Just a note to tell you that I got the idea to send a care pachage to one of our Military personnel overseas from your article in Taste of Home, Nov. 2011. I felt so good about putting a package together with homemade cookies, candy, trail mix and a lot of other treats. I mailed it on 12/7/11 with a letter to the service man Sgt. Robert Wolf, USMC. I was so disappointed when the package was returned to me on 3/16/12 saying "attempted not known". After 3 1/2 months I never expected that. I was so upset I cried. No one can tell me what happened and I didn't know if there was anything you can do to find out why this was returned to me. This was the first time I ever did anything like this and thought I was doing something good for our service man. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and maybe sending me a reply.


Pat Stanko

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPat Stanko

Hi Pat,

I will email you directly to get some more details from you -- I'm not sure where you got an address to send to the Marine that was in the Taste of Home article? Those Marines were NOT a part of Operation Cookie Overload, so you couldn't have received an address from me. It sounds like your package was sent to an invalid address. I'm so sorry to hear about your disappointment. It was such a nice thing for you to have done.


Hi Christine,
Another Holiday Season is approaching! I participated in the Operation Cookie Overload last year and would love to send packages this year again. Please send me any information on the upcoming season. Thank you.

Kristy Smith

September 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristy Smith

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