By Kathy Chouteau
Richmond Girl Scout Troop #33895 is appealing for community support as it revs up for sales of its scrumptious cookies online instead of in-person amid the pandemic.
With 14 Kindergarten through fourth grade girls hailing from local elementary schools including Michelle Obama, Mira Vista, Washington and Ford, the troop began selling Lemon-Ups, Thin Mints, Trefoils and the like on its Digital Cookie online platform starting Jan. 23. Through Digital Cookie, community members can order their favorites and then the Girl Scouts will deliver them to people’s doorsteps in a no-contact, COVID-friendly way.
Last year, following a vote among the scouts, the troop donated 10 percent of the proceeds from its cookie sales to Richmond’s Bay Area Rescue Mission, an organization that provides food, shelter and other crucial resources for people facing homelessness.
The troop’s community service efforts have included other projects as well. According to Troop Leader and Richmond resident Deborah Larsen, the scouts have also pitched in on local service projects such as bagging food at the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day last year and helping the nonprofit Urban Tilth with gardening at Unity Park.
Larsen said she tries to instill in the girls “Richmond-focused city pride, being good citizens and giving back to the city” as well as developing a sense of community and friendship among the troop members. She also aims to teach “little girls to grow up to be strong women” with a “good sense of identity, independence and all those things we want for our kids.” Larsen also emphasized how, in selling their cookies, the troop is learning to develop confidence, talk to people, deal with money and sell a product—for starters.
Amid the pandemic, the young ladies of Girl Scout Troop #33895 are also learning to adjust to unexpected change and how a community rises up to embrace its own during difficult times.