Update on Mary’s Place Girl Scouts:
After Ron and Don aired the story of the Girl Scout troop at Mary’s Place, the troop sold 1,788 boxes, exceeding their goal in just two hours.
The Girl Scouts. They’re impossible to avoid. They’ve got cookies and charisma and I dare you not to buy a box of Thin Mints this season. Chances are you already have, from your own kid or a neighbor or the girls hawking boxes outside the grocery store.
But I would like you to buy at least one more box from the Mary’s Place Girl Scout Troop. These are homeless girls living at Mary’s Place, a Seattle women and children’s shelter that helps their moms get get back on their feet. The troop formed last year and it’s the first time these girls have ever been Girl Scouts.
“Kids just want to have a sense of normal,” says the troop’s co-leader Tanita Horton. “I think this certainly brings some of that to them.”
When I first met the girls back in July, I didn’t ask how they ended up at Mary’s Place. But they were eager to tell me their stories.
“Me and my mom and my baby brother, we’d been sleeping in our car,” said a little girl who will remain nameless. “In Fresno, we had a house but then we had to move because some bad stuff. Since we moved, we didn’t have no where to live. So then me and my mom came here.”
“We had to move here at midnight,” said Tru. “I was super tired. And then, until my mom found us transportation, we couldn’t go to school.”
This is the first cookie season for these rookie scouts. Right now, their goal is to sell 2,000 boxes, but they have yet to crack 1,000. The troop keeps 85 cents of each box sold, plus they’re donating 10 percent of sales to Mary’s Place. Troops can do whatever they want with the money and the girls voted to go to the Family Fun Center in Tukwila and spend the night nearby.
“If we sell enough cookies, we may go to a hotel,” said troop member Arianna. “We’ll have some fun, I think. There’s going to be a pool there.”
Without this cookie money, the girls can’t afford to do much. Living at the shelter, they don’t get to go many places and do many things. The trip would mean a lot, just like their very first camping trip did back in September.
“Oh my goodness, it was amazing!” said Horton. “We went to Camp Long in West Seattle. We did arts and crafts and games. Probably the thing they all took away was s’mores. That was huge. The campfire was huge. We made all of our meals.”
Troop member Jazlyn says she’s learned a lot in her few months as a scout.
“We learn how to work together and not argue and how to respect each other. Everybody don’t agree with each other.”
Her favorite part of cookie sales?
“Being rejected,” Jazlyn said. “Because it just makes you want to improve more.”
The girls are selling cookies in Seattle through Friday, March 16. They will be in South Lake Union, outside the Mary’s Place Family Center in The Regrade at 2205 7th Avenue, Seattle, WA from 5p – 6:30p Tuesday through Friday or you can buy a box online. If you don’t want any more cookies, considering donating boxes to the troops.