Girl Scouts donate cookies to Barnes Air National Guard and USO of the Pioneer Valley

Hampden County

Girl Scouts donated cookies to Barnes Air National Guard and USO Pioneer Valley as part of Care & Share Project

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A record breaking cookie donation from the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts took place Friday morning.

“Today is kind of the highlight of our cookie program,” Senior Director of girl experience for Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts, Sara Rowan told 22News.

The regional organization donated 812 cases of cookies as part of The Girl Scouts “Care and Share” project to Barnes Air National Guard and the USO of the Pioneer Valley. Representatives from Barnes Air National Guard and USO Pioneer Valley met at the Girl Scout’s Holyoke Leadership Center to receive the donation and load trucks full of cookies.

“I like it because it’s being nice to people,” Daisy level Girl Scout, Lillana Melo told 22News at the event.

Donations to the project were up by 137% over last year. When a customer buys Girl Scout Cookies, they can also buy a donation box that will go towards boxes for charity. The Central and Western Girls Scouts of Massachusetts troops focus on giving to the military. They said increased online sales this year helped with the donation increase and of course the traditional method.

“I like to do cookie booths,” Melo continued when asked what she likes about cookie season.

The funds raised from cookie sales go to the Girl Scout’s troop activities and community service projects as well as life-changing programs, experiences, and learning. They also accept donations, which they, in turn, donate to the local military and non-profits.

34,000 Girl Scouts participated in the project. They typically donate 6,000 packages as part of the project, but this year, they had 20,000 package donated the organization told 22News.

“It’s nice for those who do deploy and go through Westover to be able to have some cookies on their journey to wherever they’re going. They really do they love when the truck comes on base and they’re seeing the cookies donation,” Member of the 104th fighter wing and Girl Scout leader, Katie Gauvin told 22News.

The news release states that for the first time, due to the volume of donated cookies, the Girl Scouts of Central & Western Massachusetts council gave back fifteen cases of Girl Scout cookies to each of the 53 “Service Units” or Girl Scout neighborhoods within the council as a thank you for the incredible level of generosity on the girls’ part. 

The girls will decide in the next few weeks how to distribute the cookies in their local communities and will decide between first responders, local food banks, senior homes, hospitals, grocery store workers, or wherever else they decide.

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