Oreo

Operation Oreo is an annual cookie drive sponsored by Alpharetta Methodist to share our love and respect — and a taste of home — with military men and women who are serving in combat zones overseas.

Operation Oreo began with a 2009 chance encounter between Senior Pastor Dr. Don Martin and a young soldier, returning from duty in Iraq, aboard a plane.

Read the story behind the Oreos.

Each year during the month of June, church members and patriotic citizens in the community bring Oreos to the church during the month of June. The church encourages those donating cookies to attach a note or written prayer to each package.

Operation Oreo always culminates with a standing-room-only patriotic worship service — on the Sunday before Independence Day — with stacks of Oreos surrounding the altar. The choir and orchestra play patriotic music, and military veterans are recognized.

Operation Oreo is one small – and easy! — way to say thank you to the brave men and women who sacrifice so much to keep us free, and to let them know they are in our constant prayers.

Operation Oreo 2017 Success: 5 tons!

  • Thanks to our congregation, members of the community and local businesses and nonprofit groups, we met our goal of 5 TONS of Oreos for men and women in the Armed Forces!
  • Each package of cookies had a note of appreciation or encouragement attached, so service members will know their work is valued and that they are in our prayers.
  • Watch for photos and notes from service members! We typically begin receiving correspondence in August from the men and women who receive the Oreos. We will post their photos and letters on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. See photos from Operation Oreo 2016 below.

Home renovation project for a veteran

In conjunction with Operation Oreo, Alpharetta Methodist partners with Habitat for Humanity-North Central Georgia to renovate an area home owned by a military veteran. In 2017, volunteers helped with reconstruction work on the home of a U.S. Air Force veteran who served as an airman second class between the Korean and Vietnam wars.

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Operation Oreo 2016

In 2016, Alpharetta Methodist, with the help of area United Methodist Churches and the community, collected 5 tons of Oreos and shipped them to U.S. military serving in 12 destinations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Qatar. They also went to the U.S. Navy Ship Mercy, a floating medical facility. Some Oreos were also delivered to the Atlanta Veterans Hospital in Decatur.

Click below for more photos.

Read messages from the service members who received Oreos in 2016:

From the USNS Mercy:

My name is Lt. Joseph Lai, and I am a U.S. Navy dentist stationed onboard USNS Mercy T-AH 19. Our department just received a box of Oreos from your church, and I just wanted to thank you all for thoughtful support.

We have been deployed for about 2 months now in the South Pacific for Pacific Partnership 2015. Our ship is essentially a floating hospital designed to sail to different parts of the Pacific and provide relief for nations that experience natural disasters. For our humanitarian mission this summer, we have teamed up with host and partner nations to provide many different engineering, medical, veterinary, dental and community projects to countries in need.

Once again, thank you very much for the Oreos…It’s been a long time since any of us have had these tasty treats!

Lt. Joseph Lai

The cookies arrived on Saturday July 18th. It was a good day for us to get mail, and we enjoyed several packages of the Oreos with ice cream that night. We are in the Philippines now and will be here until the end of the month. Be sure to let everyone know how much we appreciate the cookies!

Capt. Melanie Merrick, USNS Mercy

Oreos received today! Thank you again so much for supporting the crew!!! The service members onboard are so grateful to receive a little piece of home! We are halfway through the mission and have not received a lot of mail due to the remote mission ports we are visiting. The Oreos were VERY well received! Thank you again for thinking of us! God bless you all!

Command Master Chief Dedrick Walker

From the U.S. Army at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan:

Peace and blessings to you. The Oreos arrived the day I was departing theater (going on a break) and were already being enjoyed by the troops. There will be many happy faces and fully sated appetites for weeks on end.
On behalf of the chaplains, Religious Affairs personnel and the members of the U.S. military in theater, I extend to you and the fine folks who assist in your great works our sincere thanks and appreciation for the deliciously, sweet support.

God bless you.

Chaplain (Capt.) Ioane Sigarara

From the U.S. Army’s Team Shield (Police Advisory Team), Forward Operating Post, Jalalabad, Afghanistan:

Dear Alpharetta First United Methodist Church,

On behalf of Col. Gregory Stokes and Sgt. Major Kevin Artis, we at Team Shield (Police Advisory Team) would like to thank you for your support of our troops. The Oreo cookies were well received from our team, and we really appreciate you guys.

We couldn’t do our jobs without the support of great folks like you all!

Very respectfully,

Maj. McFerrin D. McDonald
Senior AUP Advisor/Team Shield S3
OP Fenty, Jalalabad Afghanistan

From a base in Afghanistan:

I wanted to let you know that in Afghanistan we received Oreos from your church today. The letters attached (and of course the Oreos themselves!) brought smiles to a lot of faces. Thank you for the support. It means so much! My personal favorite was a letter that said “kick some butt!

Jessica Gaines