We hear a lot about big donations from big organizations. But a Lynnwood-based Girl Scout troop’s recent donation to Bailey-Boushay House (BBH) shows that small gifts in small packages from small people can still make a big difference.
At the beginning of each cookie season, Girl Scout troops can opt to donate cookies to a local charity. Many troops end up with a surplus of cookies at the end of the year because people want to support the girls but not eat the cookies, so the scouts donate those cookies. Supporters can also opt to buy cookies to donate to that organization.
When Melanie Anderson – who works at Virginia Mason as an application engineer and also leads her daughter Arya’s troop – was discussing who to support with her troop, she proposed Bailey-Boushay House (BBH).
“A lot of troops donate to children’s hospitals or homeless shelters, and I immediately thought of Bailey-Boushay House,” Melanie says. “We wanted to donate to someone local, and it was especially exciting because they’d never received this type of donation.”
Six-year-old Arya, Melanie’s younger daughter, Teya, and another troop member, Amariah, hand-delivered the cookies. The BBH team, including Executive Director Brian Knowles, happily received the donation and served the cookies as part of their afternoon snack for several days.
“Our clients were excited to have a new tasty treat – and just as excited to meet the scouts who delivered them,” Brian says.
Girl Scout cookie sales are the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world, teaching important lessons in business skills, goal-setting, community responsibility and more. Melanie’s troop uses cookie sales to earn their “Spend, Save and Give” badge, which helps the scouts understand how to manage money. The troop spends a portion of the proceeds on activities, puts some funds into savings and donates dollars as well as cookies.
“It helps girls learn that when they earn money, they shouldn’t just think about what they can buy with it but who they can share it with,” Melanie says. “And to actually see BBH and meet the people receiving these cookies – that was really special, and hopefully something that will stay with them throughout their lives.”