A Mahwah family is coming together to remember a local Green Beret killed in Afghanistan last year, and bring some joy to the soldiers who served alongside him.
Lindsay Vanderbeek, a Mahwah mom and sister of Staff Sgt. Timothy McGill, who was killed in Afghanistan last year, says her brother’s love of his niece’s Girl Scout cookies prompted her family to do something for current soldiers in the Middle East.
“My brother was crazy about Girl Scout cookies,” she told Patch.
“After he left for Afghanistan last January, my daughter and I sent a bunch of them out to him, and he said the troops went nuts for them. They were fighting over them and they all really loved it.”
When Vanderbeek found out that soldiers in Afghanistan had renamed their camp to remember her brother, the family decided to surprise them.
“They actually renamed the camp where my brother was serving ‘Camp McGill,’” she said. “They sent me a picture of a bunch of the soldiers by the new sign that says ‘Camp McGill.’”
So, Vanderbeek and her daughter Savanna, a Daisy Scout in first grade, have been hard at work selling Girl Scout cookies to send overseas. So far, Vanderbeek says she’s gotten a lot of boxes donated, and her daughter’s Troop, Number 95581, is helping pay for the cost of shipping them.
“We really wanted to surprise [the soldiers] and send them as many boxes as possible,” Vanderbeek said.
“The response from the community has been overwhelming. We’ve actually gotten so many orders that we are going to start going to local businesses to see if any of them will help sponsor shipping since the costs are growing.”
McGill, who was killed in September, was a Ramsey resident and member of the borough’s volunteer fire department. His father is a retired Mahwah police officer.
“Since he passed away, the community has been amazing to us,” Vanderbeek said.
“And they are continuing that now with the cookies.”
To find out more about how you can donate cookies or help with shipping, reach out to Lindsayvanderbeek@gmail.com.