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Baking Up Smiles

  • Published
  • By A1C Alexander Nottingham
  • 5 Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Volunteers from the Minot community came together to tackle an enormous task and deliver smiles to Airmen who are away from family this holiday season at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Dec.14th, 2022. 

“The goal of the cookie drive is simple yet means so much,” said Amy Maginness, a key spouse at Minot AFB. “Small things like this show our Airmen the support of the base and the local community, ensuring everyone has a taste of ‘home’ during this time of year, regardless of how far away from home they are.”

Minot AFB has one of the largest populations of first-term Airmen. Being a first-term Airmen, many may not be able to afford to go home for the holidays. Through the cookie drive, the local community shares a crumb of their heart with the Airman, letting them know they don’t need to feel alone this holiday.

“This event is a true team effort between wing leadership, spouses, and the local community. Wing leadership spouses started the coordination, but the true work is done by those who graciously donated their time and skills to provide delicious home baked cookies for the Airmen,” said Maginness.

The volunteers provided their time and resources to bake approximately 9,000 cookies that would be delivered by the First Sergeants to the squadrons of the 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Missile Wing.

The holidays can be a tough time for any service member, but thanks to a group of spouses and volunteers from the Minot Area Chamber Economic Development Corporation (Minot EDC) who had came together to bake cookies for Airmen, they were able to bring smiles and a slice of home to those Airmen.

Some Airmen at the Missile Alert Facilities (MAF) are as far as two hours away from the base. For Airmen these times can be an extra challenge, but due to the hard work from the volunteers, leadership from the 91st Security Forces Group were able to deliver well over 1,000 cookies to each MAF.

“I think it’s going to be awesome,” said Karen Gibson, key spouse mentor for the 740th Missile Squadron. “I think it’s going to improve the morale for people unable to see their families on Christmas Day.”

The holiday season, especially for a first-term Airman, can be a difficult time, but the outpouring of love and admiration from the local Minot community has hopefully warmed many new Airmen’s spirits.

“When leadership asks ‘do you want to take care of the Airmen?’ your initial thought shouldn't be ‘does it fit in my schedule?’” said Lauren Shields, key spouse for the 891st Missile Security Forces Squadron. “You're response should be ‘How can I do it?’, ‘Where do you need it?’, ‘When do you need it?’ and 'We got you.'”