OCEAN COUNTY, NJ — Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore has donated more than 50,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to heroes on the front lines of the coronavirus and invites members of the community to help share the love.
“COVID-19 may have halted annual spring cookie booth sales, but it can’t stop Girl Scouts from their mission of giving back to the community,” said Eileen Higgins, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, which serves 10,000 girls across Monmouth and Ocean counties.
In true Girl Scout spirit, soon after the health crisis erupted, troops began asking their families, neighbors and friends to purchase their inventory of cookies to donate to essential workers. Their deliveries of cookies and notes of thanks brought comfort and joy to hundreds of hospital workers and first responders throughout central New Jersey.
To support the girls’ efforts and reach even more community heroes, the council recently launched the Girl Scout Cookie Relief Fund, Higgins said. Area residents and businesses are invited to donate to the fund, enabling Girl Scouts to continue delivering cookies to essential workers and volunteers, and at the same time draw down their inventory of cookies.
“Donors can think of their gift as a ‘thank you’ to our selfless front-line workers and volunteers and feel good knowing that they are supporting the goals of 10,000 girls wanting to make a community impact,” Higgins said.
Girl Scout Cookies are more than just a delicious treat, Higgins noted. “The Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches girls how to be entrepreneurs and funds their community projects and leadership experiences.”
When Doctor Stephen Chagares of Shrewsbury heard about the challenge facing Girl Scouts, he joined their campaign with a donation. He also helped deliver over 400 boxes of cookies to heroes working in the emergency room and intensive care units at Hackensack Meridian’s Monmouth and Riverview Medical Centers, and at medical sites providing COVID-19 testing.
“Dr. Chagares came into the ICU on Easter with Girl Scout cookies and a smile,” said Lori DeMarco, a Cardiac Monitor Tech in the ICU at Riverview. “We appreciated the gesture, especially on a holiday, as we were taking care of patients and away from our families. His energy and the Girl Scout Cookies gave us all a much-needed smile and lifted our spirits. And who doesn’t love a Girl Scout Cookie?”
Members at Deal Golf and Country Club also pitched in to support the Cookie Relief Fund by making a donation to buy out the cookie inventory of two troops and asking the girls to donate them locally. The girls chose to donate the cookies to front-line workers at Jersey Shore Medical Center and fire and police departments in Deal.
“This was a great solution all around,” Higgins said. “The girls successfully completed their cookie season and were so happy to share kindness with hospital heroes and Deal’s first responders, all thanks to the kindness of members from the Deal Golf and Country Club.”
So far, cookie deliveries have been made to a dozen hospitals in mostly central New Jersey, and to scores of first responders, as well as to volunteers at area food banks.
“We are proud of our Girl Scout troops for all they’ve done to bring bites of joy to essential workers and volunteers, and truly grateful to all who have generously supported their efforts,” Higgins said.
The council’s goal is to donate an additional 100,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to essential workers and volunteers.
Anyone interested in supporting the Girl Scout Cookie Relief Fund can visit, GSFun.org/CookieRelief.
About Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore
Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore serves more than 10,000 girls ages 5-18 in Monmouth and Ocean counties, providing a time-tested leadership experience that inspires and motivates them to take action for themselves and their communities. For 108 years, Girl Scouts has helped girls become women of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. For information on how to join, volunteer, partner, or donate, visit gsfun.org or call (800) 785-2090.