Dec. 30, 2008: Christmas spirit was truly on display

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To The Editor:
On Tuesday, Dec. 9 I sent an e-mail message to a few friends asking them to save some cookies for my grandson if they were baking for the holidays. By the following Monday, I was shipping 40 pounds of home baked cookies and brownies to Iraq. Most of the year, goodies from home are restricted to prepackaged cookies and foods, but when I heard that it was okay to send home baked goods at Christmas, I wanted to send all that I could for Zack and his fellow servicemen and women to share. It took only one message that was forwarded to other women in the area and the cookies started rolling in! Vesti Snyder at Sage Rose Herbs in Margaretville was kind enough to not only bake, but to provide a drop-off point for other women to deliver their contributions to the troops. I did not even know all of the women who baked for Zack and his buddies; they just wanted to do something to make the holidays a bit better for the men and women overseas, to provide a reminder of home to these brave young people.
I got a call from Zack on Christmas Day. Both boxes of cookies arrived in Baghdad and were quickly distributed and eaten by some very grateful service people. How many soldiers does it take to eat 40 pounds of cookies? According to Zack, quite a few. And each of them is grateful to the women of the Catskills who decided to put a bit of love and a lot of gratitude into some home baked cookies.
I would like to thank each of you for caring about my grandson and about all of the other brave young people who are so far from home right now. There is talk about doing this again next year on a much larger and more organized scale, “Cookies from the Catskills.” This is a typical reaction from the generous people who live here. A spirit of community caring is obvious through the various Community Christmas Projects, food banks, thrift shops, volunteers and organizations who never hesitate to roll up their sleeves to take care of those among us who are in need.
Thank you again, not just for the cookies, but for making this such a wonderful place to live.

Jill Ribich,
Roxbury