Girl Scouts from Mullica Hill Brownie Troop #66438, a troop made up of third graders, collected and donated boxes of cookies to local first responders and healthcare workers on April 25.
The donation was made to responders at Inspira Medical Center and firefighters at the Harmony Fire Company.
“Typically, when we have booths every year, people will give us money to donate to our troop or other causes,” said troop co-leader Kare Waddington.
Because COVID regulations prohibited the usual cookie booths this year, she and the troop got more and more requests to donate to front-line workers.
“It started to become customer-driven, and we decided that we would keep track of it and then donate at the end of the sale,” Waddington explained.
Similarly, the National Girl Scouts collectively donate a batch of cookies to troops overseas.
Right before the pandemic hit, in February 2020, the Mullica Hill troop put together care packages that were later distributed to the homeless. The work was done while the girls were stationed at the 501(c)3 nonprofit Unforgotten Haven in Blackwood, which supports the needy.
“Also, earlier in our cookie sale, we donated through The Angels Community Outreach in Pitman,” said Waddington, referring to the nonprofit where the troop delivered donated cookies for the charity’s Valentine’s Day veterans brunch in February.
That was the last donation for the year, since troop members are heading into the next phase of their Girl Scout careers known as the bronze award. The process begins next year and consists of fourth and fifth-grade Scouts. A new donation will be planned in June.
“It is a girl-driven project, and they would come up with something in their local communities that they want to help with or want to fix,” said Waddington, who has a younger daughter in Troop #66438 and two older daughters who are former Brownies. For their bronze award, the older girls brought donations from a pet store in Mullica Hill and did some fundraising. All donations then went to an animal hospital.