It’s that time of year again! Girl Scout cookies are back to help us satisfy our sweet cravings and get us through the long winter days. If you’re ready to order those Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs or any of the other classic flavors, you might want to consider picking up a few extra boxes from Troop 6000 in New York City.
You probably already know that buying Girl Scout cookies helps support the troop selling them. But for Troop 6000, these funds go even farther because the girls in this troop are all part of the New York City shelter system.
Troop 6000 was set up by the Girl Scouts of Greater New York in 2017 to help serve girls living in the city’s homeless shelters. Each week, shelters around the city host meetings led by trained Girl Scout troop leaders, many of whom are also living in the shelter system.
All of the money earned from Troop 6000’s cookie sales goes to pay for the girls’ uniforms, field trips and badge activities. To place your order and help an amazing cause, head over to Troop 6000’s official cookie page.
Similar groups have been in place over the years in other states, including Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and California. This tweet from New York City Girl Scouts calls for people to support Girl Scouts in Tennessee who are experiencing homelessness.
Please make sure you support your local troops this season, including our #Troop6000 sisters who are also experiencing homelessness down in Tennessee. #SpreadTheLove #GirlScoutCookies https://t.co/M3THN60k9P
— Girl Scouts NYC (@girlscoutsnyc) February 4, 2021
Currently, there are about 12,000 girls under the age of 18 who live in New York City shelters, according to the Girl Scouts of Greater New York. The goal for Troop 6000 is to help girls in the shelter system build friendships and community, learn new skills and gain confidence.
One of Troop 6000’s founders and troop leaders, Giselle Burgess, talked to Real Simple about the impact the organization has had on the girls living in shelters across the city.
“When I first arrived at the shelter, all the girls who lived here barely spoke to each other,” Burgess said. “They had the mentality of ‘I won’t be here long and won’t make friends,’ and I wanted to do something to make the situation easier.”
The first group started with only eight girls (and that included three of Burgess’s kids), but it quickly grew as more people heard about it. Today, shelters around the city meet virtually every week to bring together girls who are all working toward earning their badges and building meaningful friendships. It’s a much-needed source of consistency and community for children in uncertain circumstances.
And the girls within New York’s Troop 6000 intend to keep the momentum going, one cookie sale and troop meeting at a time.
“We’re starting a chain reaction,” Troop 6000 member Hailey told The New York Times. “Hopefully, in the next couple of years, there will be more Girl Scout troops in shelters.”