Community shelter receives massive donation of nearly 2,000 Girl Scout cookies

Left: Three Girl Scouts stand in a warehouse full of cookies; Right: A collection of Girl Scout cookies and milk sits in the kitchen of St. Vincent de Paul-Phoenix

On March 18, a tower of 1,900 boxes of Girl Scout cookies — bursting with Tagalongs, Thin mints, Do-si-dos, and more — was loaded up and divied out to those in need across the valley of Phoenix, AZ. 

The Girl Scout cookies were purchased and donated by a group of twenty small business owners. For a decade, the businesses have pitched in to support the Arizona Cactus-Pine Girl Scouts in tandem with their local community organization St. Vincent de Paul

SVDP feeds and clothes those in crisis, offers free medical care and workforce programs, and has an ambitious initiative to end homelessness for 2,025 locals by 2025. 

Ten years ago, the small business owners came together to donate a few boxes to SVDP, and the effort grew from there. This year’s donation will feed thousands. 

Dave Burns, owner of Burn Pest Elimination, is one of the local business owners behind the donation. He said the annual tradition is an opportunity “as a small business to just give back to the locals.” 

“All you got to do is put a little bit together with a few people, and all of a sudden — it becomes a lot,” Burns added in an interview with FOX 10 Phoenix

Patrick Donaldson, the chief operations officer of SVDP, said that the massive load of cookies — worth around $12,000 — will be given out to area shelters and campuses across the state as an additional treat to daily meal services. 

“We serve 7,000 hot meals a day as well as thousands and thousands of pounds a week that get distributed in food boxes,” Donaldson told 3 TV/CBS 5. “So these will go in our dining rooms and out to homeless shelters.”

Eight-year-old scout Eva Riley worked with the business owners to close the sale on behalf of local Girl Scout Troop 3886. 

“I was surprised and excited,” Riley told FOX 10 Phoenix. 

Riley’s $12,000 sale to SVDP is one of many examples of the Girl Scouts reputation of mixing scouting and badge-earning with community services. 

Charitable initiatives include everything from the “Beyond Bars program” that finds avenues for incarcerated mothers to participate in their daughter’s troop, to Troop 6000 — a program that supports Girl Scouts and their families in the New York shelter system. 

On top of numerous official programs, a few Girl Scouts have had individual standout moments this year, just like Riley. 

In West Plains, Missouri, Girl Scout Troop 7156, made “Birthday in a Bag” donations for struggling families. 

The bags included disposable cake pans, cake mix, frosting, and decorations, in recognition that families living in poverty deserve to celebrate their birthdays too.

And back in Arizona, Riley can barely contain her excitement for the 1,900-box donation. 

For scoring such a big win for her troop, Riley has a few Girl Scout rewards coming her way, including a party at Build-a-Bear Workshop. But above all else, Riley is proud of playing a part in a community effort that will help others. 

“I think it’s going to make them really happy, and that makes me really happy,” Riley said.

Header images courtesy of Arizona Cactus-Pine Girl Scouts and St. Vincent de Paul Phoenix

Article Details

March 19, 2024 1:05 PM
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