Girl Scout cookie season is upon us and troops across the U.S. are selling boxes of Thin Mints and Samoas. Troop 6000 in New York City is selling cookies like the rest of them — but being in the Girl Scouts has a special role to play for the members of this unique troop. Troop 6000 is a program for girls living in the New York City Shelter System.
"At Girl Scouts of Greater New York, we are motivated by a powerful mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place," the organization says. "However, for girls living in the New York City Shelter System, Girl Scouting has the potential to provide much more," including consistency with weekly meetings and community with the girls and adults they meet in the program.
There are about 70,000 people living in New York City shelters, and 23,000 are children, including about 12,000 girls, according to Girl Scouts. Families and children make up more than two-thirds of New York City's homeless shelter population.
"Every girl in the five boroughs of New York City deserves a chance to reach her full potential: to have her eyes opened to possibilities for college and careers, to make loving and supportive friends, to learn from caring female mentors, and to chart her own course to achieve her goals," the organization says. "That's what Troop 6000 is all about."
Troop meetings take place in more than 20 shelters across all five New York City boroughs. The weekly meetings have gone virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like all troops, parents and community volunteers act as leaders and the girls earn badges. Troop 6000 members also go on field trips, visit workplaces and can participate in Girl Scout camp and the Girl Scout cookie program, just like other troops across the nation.
Troop 6000 was honored for its unique role in a ceremony at New York's City Hall in 2017.
While the Girl Scouts can't manage physical donations of items for the girls in Troop 6000, they do accept monetary donations and also have links to support other organizations helping homeless families.
And of course, cookie lovers can order boxes directly from Troop 6000 online this year.
In addition to online ordering, Girl Scouts have also come up with creative ways to sell cookies while following social distancing and other safety measures, including contact-free delivery systems and drive-thru pickups.
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