Safe to say most of us have been snacking, filling up on comfort foods. Well, one of America's favorite treats is still for sale, we're talking Girl Scout cookies. And, the organization needs your help.
"When the Covid-19 pandemic hit and we needed to suspend our in-person programming, we had over 200,000 packages of girl scout cookies across our nine counties that girls had signed up to sell in their cookies booths," Alison Wilcox, CEO of Girl Scouts of WNY said.
Extra Girl Scout cookies? Sounds like a dream. But, in reality, it really hasn’t been. Three weeks of cookie sales had to be suspended, taking a big bite out of the annual fundraiser.
"The girl scout cookie program funds between 60 and 70 percent of our annual revenue for the year," Wilcox said.
Right now, Wilcox says they're facing an $800,000 deficit. But, as girl scouts do, they're taking on this challenge and getting innovative.
They’ve taken their cookie sales online.
"All of the things that adults in the business world are facing right now, our girls are also learning,” Wilcox explained. “We know this isn't something anyone wanted, and it has been a very tough time for our community, but we know the girls are learning innovation and their learning resilience."
Take 8-year-old Nina Smith for example. Her South Buffalo-Lackawanna troop has sold 7,000 boxes despite the pandemic.
"Some of the parents in the troop are first responders," she said.
So, they had an idea.
"Give them the cookies and bring them joy," Smith said.
Her troop bought the last 300 boxes and donated them to the Lackawanna and Buffalo Fire Departments, Erie County 911 dispatch, and Mercy Hospital. And while she's getting a lesson on business 101, there's a life lesson she's learned, too.
"Helping people all the time," Smith said.
They’re spreading smiles one bite at a time.
"I have been really inspired how the girls have started shifting right away when this all started, to how can I use what we have such as cookies or our program models into how can I help others," Wilcox smiled.