This is one sweet haul: A troop of Girl Scouts who live in city homeless shelters sold more than 32,000 boxes of cookies in less than a week.
The young women of Troop 6000 captured the hearts of New Yorkers who stood on long lines to buy the treats at Kellogg’s NYC Café in Union Square. It was the first time they were able to take part in the Girl Scout tradition of selling cookies.
“I’m so happy,” said 10-year-old Sanaa, a member of Troop 6000 who lives on Staten Island. “People from all over came out to support us. They told us how much they love the Girl Scouts.”
The troop quickly surpassed its original goal of selling 6,000 boxes as word of their sale went viral across social media and other outlets.
Some supporters skipped the carbs and donated money totaling $15,400 to help the troop pay for activities and trips.
“One Wednesday afternoon, the girls walked into the store, a line had formed and the crowd cheered for them,” said Meridith Maskara, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater New York. “This shows their current situation doesn’t define who they are. It’s one of those humanizing moments in New York that makes it feel like a small town.”
Maskara said the cookie sale is designed to teach young girls vital business planning and other financial skills. But the overwhelming moral support was especially important.
“They felt this support, they felt someone is on their side,” she said. “When a shelter opens in a neighborhood, they are not always told that.”
Troop 6000, which is composed of girls who have lived in homeless shelters, was created last year by the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city Department of Homeless Services.
While the troop has participated in other Girl Scout activities and trips, being homeless made it difficult to accommodate the logistics of cookie deliveries.
The troop teamed up with Kellogg’s to sell at their Union Square shop. The partnership seemed to be a natural fit — Girl Scout cookies are manufactured by Kellogg division Little Brownie Bakers.
In addition to selling boxes of cookies, the troop members worked with Kellogg’s to help create six cookie-inspired cereal bowl mixes that were sold at the café.
Sanaa said she is looking forward to spending time in the Girl Scouts camp this summer. And the success has only given the troop members bigger dreams.
“Next year we are going to reach a higher goal,” she said.