You have heard a lot of wonderful stories over the years about how our Girl Scouts make the world a better place through their commitment to service, and even in these unprecedented times, we were able to continue to share these stories with you all. And who better to hear the stories from than from the girls themselves?
Read on for a first-person account from Girl Scout Anne, Cookie CEO who has donated her Disney trip for multiple years and will continue to do so for years to come!
In Her Own Words: A Gift of Joy
When I was in fourth grade, I was listening to a lesson about virtue at school, when I got an idea to be extra kind and generous. I wanted to do something big that would really put a smile on a kid’s face. It was Girl Scout cookie season when this happened, and I thought that maybe I could sell 5,000 boxes of cookies and then give the trip I earned to a kid in need. I thought giving a Disney trip would be good because I went to Disney when I was in second grade, and it was the best trip I was ever on. I had so much fun, and I rode all the rides, and I got to try all kinds of good food. I wanted to give my trip to another kid who might not have a chance to take a trip like this. I also wanted to give them a chance to have fun and not think about doctors.
When I told my parents, my mom thought it would be impossible to sell 5,000 cookies because I usually sold 500. My Nana thought it was a good idea but I didn’t think she was into it. After a few days, my mom called the council to see if it was even possible for a trip to be given away. We had to wait a couple of weeks before we got our answer. We could give the trip to another kid, but not another organization like Make a Wish.
I spent the next few months reading and watching YouTube videos on how to sell more cookies. I started to think about where I could have booths and which organizations I would like to collect donations from. I made arrangements to have booths at my favorite restaurants and I decided I would help local veterans and the Ronald McDonald House.
Veterans are important to me because I have had many relatives who served, and my favorite cousin is in the Army Reserves. I am thankful for what our soldiers do to protect us and I am grateful for what our veterans have done in the past. I have volunteered at the Manteno Veterans Home and I am a member of the Monee Auxiliary Post 1200. In the Auxiliary, I get to help plan events and treats for the vets. I am going to be their Junior Historian for the next year, taking pictures and documenting our meetings when we are in person. I am also going to collect cookies for the Fisher House at Hines and local homebound vets. This year I will use my cookie money to sponsor two service dogs through PAWWS.
I like the Ronald McDonald House because they help families who have kids in the hospital. The Ronald McDonald House is like a second home for many families. When I was small, I was attacked by a dog and had to have emergency surgery, and I stayed at Comer’s in Chicago. I saw lots of kids with cancer and their families too. I did not like being in the hospital and I wanted to go home. Luckily, I did not have to stay in the hospital long. I knew some of those kids were going to be there a long time. I hope they made it home.
When I sold my 5,000 boxes, I felt like, “WOAH.” I could not believe it. Then I started to think about how I would surprise my friend, Lavontae, with the Disney trip. I have known him for a few years. Lavontae is always going to the doctors because he is living with chronic health issues. He is always fun, funny, and he is always hugging everyone. He is always happy and he LOVES to play video games.
My brother’s friend’s mother is the manager at the Chicago Ridge Disney Store. When she found out what I was doing, she offered to help host a reveal party for Lavontae. Her staff created a custom video which was played on their big screen. When Lavontae found out he was going to Disney, he was shocked and then happy. His Papa was excited too. I was excited and happy and grateful. I felt grateful for everyone who helped me and all the kindness I saw over the months.
Reach Your Goals with the Girl Scout Cookie Program
The Girl Scout Cookie Program helps girls succeed today and prepare for future success. With every box she sells, she builds on 5 essential leadership skills she can use for a lifetime.
Every Girl Scout benefits from the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Whether it’s a trip to a breathtaking place they’ve never been, an opportunity to attend Girl Scout camp and revel in the power of the great outdoors, or the chance to try something new, every experience helps them do amazing things for herself and for her community. It’s never too late to join the program. Start today!