Coronavirus: Girl Scout troop raising money to donate to hospitals, food banks during pandemic

Girl scouts raising money to donate to hospitals and food banks amid coronavirus outbreak

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — When the coronavirus outbreak started, Girl Scouts in Memphis, Tennessee, were just beginning their annual cookie sales, and now those sales have been suspended.

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That’s one of the reasons the Girl Scouts have not been seen outside grocery stores and churches lately.

As you can imagine, troops are left with tons of cookies and no way to sell them.

One troop has turned to social media to raise enough money to donate their unsold cookies to those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re a very high-selling troop. For example, I sold 3,000 boxes last year,” said Gabriella Graves, Memphis Girl Scout member.

Members of Memphis Girl Scout Cadet Troop 13098 told WHBQ that selling lots of cookies was never a problem – at least until this year, when COVID-19 suspended their sales early.

Troop leaders said they didn’t want hundreds of boxes to go to waste, so they hopped on GoFundMe and started a different kind of fundraiser.

“Why don’t we get them to the people that need them?” Scout Leader Renee Graves said. “Because there are people who aren’t going to be able to quarantine, you know, they’re going to be stuck working in hospitals.”

So far, they’ve sold 49 boxes of cookies. That’s roughly $250.

One scout member dropped off the first donation to the Mid-South Food Bank Monday and even practiced safe social distancing in the process.

“We’re calling ahead to each place to let them know we’re coming, so they can meet us outside and take the delivery at a safe distance,” said Gabriella Graves. “We’re using hand sanitizer before and after every delivery.”

But the troop said it still has 400 boxes left, and they hope the community will help them reach their goal.

“By buying these cookies for other people, it can give you some comfort that you’re helping other people have joy and also just a great opportunity to spread joy in our community during this time,” said Amane Glenn.

Troop members said they’re learning a bigger lesson that goes beyond earning a new badge.

“With the regular sale, we learn entrepreneurship and with this, we’re learning about that as well, but we’re also learning about just helping people and turning a bad situation into something positive,” said Maggie Turner.

If they can raise enough donations, the Girl Scouts told WHBQ that they want to give boxes to all the Memphis-area hospitals, the YMCA and the Hope House.

If you want to donate, you can go to their GoFundMe page here.