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Homeless Girl Scouts hold first cookie sale in Union Square

The girls blew past an initial goal of selling 6,000 boxes within the first two days of the sale.

This Girl Scout cookie sale is especially sweet.

For the first time, Girl Scouts who live in homeless shelters in New York City are selling cookies to raise money for their troop.

The enterprising young women from Troop 6000 are setting up shop at the Kellogg's NYC Cafe at Union Square all week long. Their goal is to sell 12,000 boxes of S’mores, Thin Mints, Samoas and other delectable treats.

“They have been wanting to do this for so long,” said Corinthia Fludd, Troop 6000’s recruiting specialist. “It’s the number one thing they ask.”

Troop 6000 was formed last year by the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, Mayor de Blasio and the city Department of Homeless Services with the goal of reaching 500 girls and women at 15 shelters. While they have yet to reach that goal, the troop does have several hundred members from all over the city, Fludd said. And she’s recruiting more girls every day.

But the logistics of selling and delivering cookies has been a challenge for Girl Scouts who live in homeless shelters. Kellogg’s division Little Brownie Bakers manufactures the cookies, and the company agreed to let the girls sell at their East 17th Street store — eliminating the need for delivery altogether.

Members from Troop 6000 will rotate at the site to sell cookies from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and – due to demand – 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Just two days into their sale, they passed an initial goal of 6,000 boxes and decided to double it, Anat Gerstein, a spokeswomen for Girl Scouts of Greater New York, said.

"The line has been 30 minutes long, but people are enthusiastically waiting for their chance to buy cookies," Gerstein said.

In addition to selling the cookies, the girls helped create six cereal bowl recipes using the Girl Scout cookie flavors. Those items are set to appear on the menu all week, with proceeds going to the troop.

“The Girl Scout Cookie Program gives every girl the opportunity to run a business and the experience of being a boss,” said Meridith Maskara, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Greater New York. “It gives them a taste of what’s possible in their future.”

Girl Scouts like 10-year-old Sanaa, of Staten Island, have been preparing for the sale by learning how to create a business plan, help customers and keep track of money.

“The most exciting thing is being with the other Girl Scouts,” she said. “It’s important for us to be able to sell cookies because sometimes parents don’t have money to pay for activities. By selling cookies we can pay for more trips and activities.”

Fludd and others say they have seen marked change in the Troop 6000 members in school and at home.

“Girls that walked around quietly, they didn’t really speak because of the situation they were in, are more confident and open now,” Fludd said. “They really blossomed. ”

With Nicole Brown

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