HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (Warren County) – A small group of family and friends gathered Saturday at a Hackettstown home and made more than 3,000 cookies that will be distributed to deployed military who wont be home for the holidays.
On the Saturday after Thanksgiving for the past several years, Santina Flynn’s home transforms into a cookie baking marathon day. Flynn and a team of 26 volunteers take shifts throughout the day making a variety of cookies.
Flynn has been battling Metastatic Breast Cancer that spread to her bones two years ago that requires her to be on chemotherapy for the rest of her life but it hasn’t stopped her from keeping the tradition. She does most of the prep work but on baking day everyone has a job from making batter, doing dishes, removing cookies from the hot plate and organizing the cookies by variety. Noreen O’Brien has been by Flynn’s side all those years manning the ovens.”She stands on 3 feet of real estate the entire day never burning one cookie,” Flynn said. Her daughter, Taylor Dubord, stepped up to help her mom keep tradition by organizing all the paperwork.
“The best part of doing this is hearing from these guys saying how this box changed the moral of our squad. This is the least we could do for them,” Flynn said.
A few of the ingredients used were 40 pounds of flour, 20 pounds of sugar, 30 pounds of butter and 8 dozen eggs. The group made 2,803 cookies in 2016, 3,007 in 2017 and they set a new record this year with 3,028.
Each box can contain anywhere from 10-16 dozen cookies. Along with cookies, the troops receive frisbees, footballs, Christmas decorations, playing cards and handmade cards from school kids. The cost of mailing the packages average around $500.
“All this wouldn’t be possible without the help and donations from many people. I find that people want to help but don’t know how to go about it. This seems to be their way of saying thanks too. I take all kinds of donations and if it doesn’t fit in the party box I donate it to Rolling Thunder who mails yet another box with personal care items and jerky, gum etc to my addresses. Also some of the items go to the vets at the Lyons Hospital. We can never forget their sacrifice either,” Flynn said.
For additional information check out facebook.com/cookiesforthetroops.