How to Treat the Troops
The Sinful Treats bakery of Elk Grove, CA is once again sending delicious goodies to patients and staff at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. In late 2010 to 2011, they sent over 500 individual treats in their "Treat Our Troops" project, including chocolate macaroons, pumpkin pecan cookies and "food for the gods," a buttery dessert bar with dates and walnuts.
"It really snowballed," recalls owner Mariel Black. Originally intended to be an internal company project, the project expanded when customers mentioned they wanted to get involved. Mariel offered them the opportunity to "sponsor" a cookie and 50 people stepped up to help and a local nonprofit offered to match the number of treats sponsored. In Landstuhl, the goodies were very well received, and many responded by sending the bakery pictures of themselves enjoying the treats. "They were really excited to get them," Mariel said.
This year, the goal is to double the previous effort by sending 1,000 individual treats. Over a dozen local customers have stepped up so far, but local radio and newspapers are starting to take notice and the Sinful Treats website allows anyone in the world to sponsor treats at the rate of $2, $10 or $18.50 per sponsorship. They are also encouraging local sponsors to write cards and letters to include with the treats. "People like the thought of being able to write something," Mariel explains.
When Mariel first conceived of sending treats, she contacted Soldiers' Angels, who suggested the patients and staff of Landstuhl as recipients. The hospital is the first stop for wounded or ill warriors leaving the combat zones, and it's often a challenging post for the medical staff who serve there to man the Medevac transports and treat the patients.
Mariel was originally motivated by cousins who are in the military. When she was talking to one couple, the subject of family sacrifices made came up. As a thank you she wanted to send treats to a deployed cousin, and then decided to think bigger. "For one person to send a cookie would be a big hassle," she realized, "but if we all pull together..."
To sponsor treats yourself, visit the Sinful Treats website and Treat Our Troops!