MAMARONECK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Westchester County woman is on a mission to give the troops a little slice of home.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams On The Story

It’s amazing. You take an egg, flower, sugar, butter, and vanilla, mix it all up, put it in the oven, and you get so much more than just a cookie.

“People are lonely. They’re far away from home. Somebody bakes them something, that’s a little bit of love,” said Mariann Raftery, who bakes from the heart.

“I read an article in the New York Times about this woman, Jeanette Cram, who had a website called ‘Treat the Troops,'” she said. That was six years ago. “The fact that I could bake and ship to American soldiers, this is something that I can do.”

So, she starting baking for the troops.

“They really really appreciate it. Once I got that first little e-mail or letter, I mean, I have pictures and everything. How could I not do this? It’s a small token of my appreciation for what they do. I sleep safe every night in my bed,” Raftery told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams while holding back tears.

LINK: Treat the Troops

Somewhere, in a dusty, desolate, and dangerous corner of Afghanistan, some soldier is going to get a box the size of a microwave oven, full of goodies.

“So, I started making banana breads and the favorite thing they love is I make chocolate brownie in cupcake things and I stick a peanut butter cup on the inside. That’s a huge hit with the soldiers,” she said. “They love that.”

Her first box of goodies went to her son-in-law and she mails four boxes every month.

“To mail a box, it takes me four dozen cookies at least,” he said.

She puts a note in every box so they know she’s not a crazy person.

“I have a whole thing and I tell them ‘If you know somebody that gets no mail, please send me their [name and address].’ Cause there are guys that get no mail, nothing,” she said.

Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

Stories from Main Street – Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

RELATED: More Stories From Main Street

Raftery is the office manager at Westchester Hebrew High School in Mamaroneck, where the students now help raise funds and pack the boxes.

“Mrs. Raftery, Mariann, is someone who’s a great example for all of them to look beyond themselves,” said Rabbi Jeffrey Beer, the Head of School. “They learn that it’s not about us only, that it’s about giving back to the community.”

“She does it with love, commitment, compassion,” said Dr. Nancy Block, Dean of Student Life.

There’s no shortage of care packages at the end of the year. That’s why Raftery likes to heat up her oven after the holidays, when those special deliveries drop off.

“You can never forget. You can never forget,” she said. “There are still guys over there. You know, if you read the paper every day, something’s happened to someone. That’s somebody’s son. That’s somebody’s brother. Somebody’s husband.”

Have you done something for the troops? Share your story below.


Leave a Reply