BC Girl Guides is calling out to anyone in the community with a sweet tooth after the COVID-19 pandemic left them with nearly 800,000 boxes of their popular cookies.
Yes, 800,000 boxes.
The organization hosts its cookie campaigns twice a year but they’ve since had to suspend in-person activities for all members and volunteers.
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“We had 800,000 boxes of cookies delivered in the past few weeks before COVID-19 grew to be a major concern in British Columbia,” Diamond Isinger, Provincial Commissioner for Girl Guides of Canada, tells Daily Hive. “We’re now left with those boxes of cookies being stored in peoples’ homes. We wanted to think of how we can creatively sell them.”
Isinger explains that the cookies are essential to BC Girl Guides, not just in funding activities but also as a way to teach valuable skills to its thousands of girl guides.
“Cookies are the most important thing to our organization because it powers all the programming that we offer,” she says. “Every event, every camp, every science experiment, everything — it’s all powered by cookies.”
They’re also a key part in teaching girls a number of life lessons and tools, such as basic entrepreneurial skills, public speaking, and money management, to name a few.
Now, they’ve begun to accept pre-orders from anyone who wishes to purchase their cookies in advance.
“Many of our girl guide members are accepting so-called ‘pre-orders’ for cookies,” Isinger explains. “They’re happy to accept those orders and fulfill them when they can.”
And while selling Girl Guide cookie is typically a process that occurs in front of local grocery stores or door-to-door, the organization has even had local businesses step up to help.
“We’re lucky to have some small businesses and other people who are helping by temporarily being resalers of cookies for us,” says Isinger. “Since starting in 1927, it’s typically been girls selling the cookies themselves. This, of course, is a very exceptional situation where we need any and all help to make sure that we can sell them in a safe and efficient way.”
Isinger notes that another recent trend that BC Girl Guides has been seeing is people purchasing their cookies to donate or give as gifts.
“We’ve had opportunities where some people approach us and say that ‘they’re not really big cookie people but they’d love to support us and also support another organization in their community’,” she says. “We gladly accept any purchases of cookies where the purchaser would like to donate them on their behalf or we’re happy to sell cookies and then they can make that donation.”
“That can be something as simple as delivering those cookies to a local food bank; to a neighbour that’s a frontline healthcare worker. There are lots of ways that we can support other people.”
For the 18,000 members and volunteers in BC Girl Guides, they’re also looking for new ways to take their activities online or within the safety of their own homes.
Some leaders are introducing the growing trend of personal hangouts, allowing their girls to connect through themed activities like a “virtual campfire.” Other volunteers have compiled and sent out activity ideas to parents so that they can keep their kids interested and learning at home.
Anyone interested in connecting with and supporting a Girl Guide in their community can connect with Girl Guides BC online.