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Team Hill Cookie Drive offers Airmen holiday treats during pandemic

Volunteers package cookies.

Volunteers package cookies during the annual Team Hill Cookie Drive at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Dec. 7, 2020. Military spouses and first sergeants packed and delivered more than 450 bags of cookies to their unit's Airmen who live in the base's dormitories. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Volunteers package cookies.

Volunteers package cookies during the annual Team Hill Cookie Drive at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Dec. 7, 2020. Military spouses and first sergeants packed and delivered more than 450 bags of cookies to their unit's Airmen who live in the base's dormitories. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Volunteers package cookies.

Bonnie Wood (left) and Christie Anderson package cookies during the annual Team Hill Cookie Drive at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Dec. 7, 2020. Military spouses and first sergeants packed and delivered more than 450 bags of cookies to their unit's Airmen who live in the base's dormitories. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Volunteers package cookies.

Alicia Walker packages cookies during the annual Team Hill Cookie Drive at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Dec. 7, 2020. Military spouses and first sergeants packed and delivered more than 450 bags of cookies to their unit's Airmen who live in the base's dormitories. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Volunteers package cookies.

Marin Herman (left) and Sam Taylor package cookies during the annual Team Hill Cookie Drive at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Dec. 7, 2020. Military spouses and first sergeants packed and delivered more than 450 bags of cookies to their unit's Airmen who live in the base's dormitories. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- The 2020 Team Hill Cookie Drive served up more than 450 bags of holiday treats to Airmen this year, despite the ongoing pandemic.

Event organizers enlisted the help of military spouses and first sergeants to pack and deliver bags of the donated cookies to their unit’s Airmen who live in the base dormitories.

“Living in the dorms during the holiday season, away from loved ones, can make finding holiday cheer challenging. Even more so this year with social gathering restrictions,” said Nicole Behmer, volunteer cookie drive coordinator. “We are thankful we had the opportunity this year to provide some cheer to Team Hill’s Airmen.”

Volunteer Marin Herman said organizing this year’s event was a little more complicated with COVID and the restrictions on gatherings.

Normally, volunteers gather in a large group to collect and package the homemade cookies for the annual holiday event. This year, volunteers were limited on how many people to gather together.

Organizers wondered if the cookie drive would even be possible this year. Despite the hurdles, Herman said everyone stepped up to make it a successful in a year when a number of special events have been cancelled.

“We are very grateful for the generous donations from our local community leaders. It’s because of their support we doubled our initial goal, making the event a huge success,” Behmer said.

More than 60 individuals and organizations donated approximately 6,500 store-bought cookies.

Some of the organizations supporting the event included the Top of Utah Military Affairs Committee, America First, Standup USA, Mrs. Fields Cookies, Target, Select Health, Costco and Hershey's to name a few.

“I believe the cookie drive is especially important this year since many people may not get to be with their families this holiday season,” Herman said. “This has been a tough and lonely year for everyone, and even the smallest gesture we can make to spread holiday cheer and show that we care.”

(No federal endorsement intended of the organizations mentioned in this article.)