The homeless Girl Scout troop that saw New Yorkers braving long lines to support its inaugural cookie drive is now 500 strong.
Troop 6000, which started about 18 months ago at a homeless shelter in Queens, has since expanded to all five boroughs, first lady Chirlane McCray announced at a new conference Thursday. She was surrounded by more than a dozen Scouts in green, blue and brown vests.
“These Scouts are learning to tackle challenges with courage, confidence and character,” McCray said at City Hall. “I can’t wait to see what kind of leaders they become.”
Sweetness for Troop 6000 was evident when the girls sold more than 32,000 boxes of cookies at Union Square in April — far surpassing an initial goal of 6,000.
Some people simply donated money to the troop during the sale, giving more than $15,400. Those who did wait in line for cookies stood for up to 30 minutes.
The Department of Homeless Services and the Girl Scouts of Greater New York established Troop 6000 in February 2017. That July, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that his office would, with money from the Mayor’s Fund, invest more than $1 million to the group’s expansion, which wrapped up this month.
“We’re thrilled to be able to offer more homeless girls across the five boroughs the opportunity to participate in a program that helps build confidence in young women,” de Blasio said in a news release.
“We are grateful to Mayor de Blasio and our city partners for helping us start and expand Troop 6000, which is critically important to helping girls cope with the challenges of homelessness,” Meredith Maskara, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater New York, said in a release. “We believe every girl deserves the leadership opportunities and friendship only Girl Scouts provides.”