Baking Happiness: Airman Cookie Drive

A volunteer places a bag of decorated cut-out cookies into a package for the Airman Cookie Drive at the Community Activity Center at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. on Dec. 4, 2016. Holloman’s annual Airman Cookie Drive collects and distributes donated cookies to Airmen living in the base dorms during the holiday season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexis P. Docherty)

A volunteer places a bag of decorated cut-out cookies into a package for the Airman Cookie Drive at the Community Activity Center at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. on Dec. 4, 2016. Holloman’s annual Airman Cookie Drive collects and distributes donated cookies to Airmen living in the base dorms during the holiday season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexis P. Docherty)

More than 17,000 cookies were collected and distributed to 907 Airmen for the Holloman’s annual Airman Cookie Drive at the Community Activity Center at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. on Dec 5, 2016. Cookies were collected from the CAC and the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce, on Dec. 4 and 5.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexis P. Docherty)

More than 17,000 cookies were collected and distributed to 907 Airmen for the Holloman’s annual Airman Cookie Drive at the Community Activity Center at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. on Dec 5, 2016. Cookies were collected from the CAC and the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce, on Dec. 4 and 5. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexis P. Docherty)

A volunteer crafts a handmade card, to adorn a package of cookies, for Holloman’s annual Airman Cookie Drive at the Community Activity Center at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. on Dec 5, 2016. Cookie drive volunteers collected cookies from donors, organized cookies according to type, dispersed cookies into individual paper bags, and attached handmade cards to each bag of cookies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexis P. Docherty)

A volunteer crafts a handmade card, to adorn a package of cookies, for Holloman’s annual Airman Cookie Drive at the Community Activity Center at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. on Dec 5, 2016. Cookie drive volunteers collected cookies from donors, organized cookies according to type, dispersed cookies into individual paper bags, and attached handmade cards to each bag of cookies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexis P. Docherty)

Packages of cookies are placed into boxes, to be distributed to the various base dormitories, for Holloman’s annual Airman Cookie Drive at the Community Activity Center at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. on Dec 4, 2016. Members of the First Sergeant’s Council distributed the cookies to Airmen living in the base dorms Dec. 5, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexis P. Docherty)

Packages of cookies are placed into boxes, to be distributed to the various base dormitories, for Holloman’s annual Airman Cookie Drive at the Community Activity Center at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. on Dec 4, 2016. Members of the First Sergeant’s Council distributed the cookies to Airmen living in the base dorms Dec. 5, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexis P. Docherty)

Lisa Cantwell, the Airman Cookie Drive director, crafts a handmade card for Holloman’s annual Airman Cookie Drive at the Community Activity Center at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. on Dec 5, 2016. Numerous people and organizations supported this year’s cookie drive including, but not limited to, Alamogordo residents, culinary arts students from both Alamogordo Middle School and Alamogordo High School and the First Sergeants Council here. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexis P. Docherty)

Lisa Cantwell, the Airman Cookie Drive director, crafts a handmade card for Holloman’s annual Airman Cookie Drive at the Community Activity Center at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. on Dec 5, 2016. Numerous people and organizations supported this year’s cookie drive including, but not limited to, Alamogordo residents, culinary arts students from both Alamogordo Middle School and Alamogordo High School and the First Sergeants Council here. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexis P. Docherty)

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

(Editor’s note: Last names are being withheld due to operational requirements.)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, it’s the hap-happiest season of all! That’s the song volunteers were singing at this year’s Airman Cookie Drive on Dec. 5, 2016.

Holloman Airmen and their spouses, as well as people from within the Alamogordo community, supported this year’s drive by baking and donating home-made cookies of all types, from good ole chocolate chip cookies to ornately decorated cut-out cookies. Cookies were collected from the Community Activity Center here and the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce, on Dec. 4 and 5.  

“The cookie drive is important because it helps build a stronger sense of community within the Wing and between the base and Alamogordo,” said Lisa Cantwell, the Airman Cookie Drive director and spouse of 49th Wing commander Col. Houston Cantwell. “This is a fun and festive way to support our single and TDY Airmen during the holidays.”

There were 40 volunteers, as well as members of the First Sergeant’s Council, who helped with this year’s cookie drive.  

“The volunteers were instrumental in the success of the Airman Cookie Drive,” said Cantwell. “Volunteers at the CAC collected cookies from donors, separated and organized the cookies according to type, placed a variety of cookies in individual paper bags, attached handmade cards to each bag and then organized the bags for each dormitory. In addition, volunteers crafted cards to attach to each bag of cookies.”

Numerous people and organizations supported this year’s cookie drive including, but not limited to, Alamogordo residents, culinary arts students from both Alamogordo Middle School and Alamogordo High School and the First Sergeants Council here. Approximately 17,408 cookies were donated, packed and delivered to a grand total of 907 Airmen.

“We had a record number of Airmen to provide for this year, and through the community's spirit of generosity, we were able to surpass our goal,” said Cantwell. “We are grateful! I’d like to say a sincere ‘thank you’ to the numerous volunteers, to those who prepared the delicious treats, to the students who made cards and baked, and to the First Sergeants. The 2016 Airman Cookie Drive was a joyful experience and I look forward to ‘Baking Happiness’ again during the 2017 Airman Cookie Drive.”

For those unable to travel home during the holiday season, the cookie drive is a simple, but kind, gesture.

“I’m glad to help my fellow Airmen because I know not everyone can go home for the holidays or have family near,” said Cassie, an Airman Cookie Drive volunteer and a Holloman spouse. “The Airman Cookie Drive is a little way to spread some Christmas spirit.”