WOOD-RIDGE, NJ - What started out as a simple request looking for Girl Scout cookies, turned into one Wood-Ridge troop's final service project of their years in the program.

According to Colleen Scherdel, Troop Leader of Wood-Ridge Girl Scout Troop 575, a mother of a Wood-Ridge serviceman was looking to purchase Girl Scout cookies to send to her son and his fellow airman. The original social media post received numerous requests from the community wanting to donate to the project. Additionally, other Girl Scout troops in town wanted to donate their overstock of cookies.

The members of Ambassador Troop 575 are Emily Cupo, Christina Vazquez, Lyndsey Scherdel, Jenna Castellano, Loreanna Caputi, Kylie Wasserman, Skylar Basich and Sophia Mavrorasakis. All seniors at Wood-Ridge High School.

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They hosted a donation drive event at the Civic Center, inviting members of the community to stop by and donate. The girls asked their fellow Girl Scout “sisters” to write cards of thanks to the servicemen and women, which were included in the cookie shipment.  That same night the girls were also surprised with a visit from the serviceman’s mom and sister, who personally wanted to thank the girls. 

"It was an amazing gesture of gratitude that the girls truly appreciated," said Scherdel.

The collection began in late February and lasted through mid-March. It netted a total of 102 boxes, which have been shipped.

"For the girls to be able to experience the whole process through provided them with the opportunity to see first hand how this small request could grow into our community coming together for a wonderful cause," said Scherdel. "For the servicemen and women to be able to receive a package from home, even if it’s something simple like a box of Girl Scout cookies will hopefully bring them the comforts of home."

Members of Troop 575 are seniors and will be bridging out of the Girl Scout program in a few weeks. The COVID-19 virus shutdown all events and activities locally and throughout the state, so the troop's "last year of scouting didn’t end like we wanted to" said Scherdel.

"I am beyond proud of the girls and what they have accomplished throughout their years of scouting," she said. "Although this wasn’t the ending we could ever imagine with the current pandemic, I have been blessed to lead this amazing group of smart, kind, and strong young women. Each one of them has something to offer, each one has something that sets them apart from others."

"I can’t wait to see what their future brings for each and every one of them."


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