The men and women at Dyess Air Force Base know what it’s like to be on the front line of a battle, so when they were asked to do something simple for teachers who are on the frontline of the pandemic, they jumped at the chance.
The airman, led by Wylie dad Cameron Wiley, delivered HERO Cookies to every campus in the Wylie district as a way to say thank you to teachers and administrators.
“We get thank yous all the time,” Wiley said. “We wanted to reciprocate that. We are not really at the front line of this battle, like teachers and administrators, so anything we can do to put a smile on their face is the point of it.”
Wiley came up with the idea for the HERO Cookies after seeing how difficult the first day of school was for teachers. His wife, Meagan, teaches 5th grade math at Wylie West Junior High.
“I knew they were going to be stressed,” he said. “This was something new. After the first day of school I called her up just to check on her and see how her day was. She just sent me a text saying, ‘Not so good.’ ”
That’s when he decided he needed to do something.
“It broke my heart honestly,” he said. “I thought, you know what, I am going to take them cake tomorrow at lunch – something to put a smile on their face. Three cookie cakes turned in to hey I am going to do this through the Dyess airmen. One school turned into all of Wylie and all of Wylie turned into every school in the city.”
Wiley pitched the idea to various groups at Dyess and not only did he get plenty of volunteers, but the Dyess First Sergeants Council donated money to buy the cookies. He also found a Dyess logo and got permission to put it on the cookies. He asked fellow Wylie dad, Tim Farrar, who is general manager of the United on Judge Ely, if United could make the large cookies and put the logo on them.
Farrar was more than happy to participate. The Dyess airmen deliver cookies to about three campuses each Friday morning. Each campus gets three of the cookie cakes. Once the group had hit all the Wylie campuses and the Wylie administration office, they moved to the AISD campuses.
“I have a group of airman now who have a schedule made,” Wiley said. “They have gotten a real kick out of how much something as silly as a giant cookie puts a smile on people’s faces.”
Wiley said he hopes to expand the HERO Cookies to other essential workers.
“I’d love to be able to go to the hospitals and all the other essential places that are taking a beating right now,” he said. “I would love to try to do this every year.”
He said seeing the joy that the cookies bring to teachers has made the effort more than worth it.
“Seeing the reaction that we’ve gotten from it has been even more positive than we thought it would be,” he said. “Some of them have gotten teary eyed; they’ve smiled, others are a little confused. We tell them this is to say thank you from us to you.”