Girl Scout cookie surplus inspires donations for frontline workers

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- It has been a tough year for Girl Scouts in Western Wisconsin to sell cookies, but they are making the most of their massive surplus to support front line workers.

The same time that Girl Scouts were about to set up shop in front of retail stores to sell their cookies, everything shut down. Now there are more than 100,000 left over packages of cookies, the Girl Scouts started donating some boxes and now it has turned into a community wide effort.

"They depend so much on going out and interacting with the public and spending time with them,” said Melanie Wells, Troop 3452 leader. This year the pandemic hit just as cookie sales kicked off. "Now we are finding that we have a lot of troops in the area that are sitting on a lot of inventory for Girl Scout cookies,” said Carrie Andringa from Girl Scouts of Northwestern Wisconsin.

There are nearly 120,000 packages of cookies left at the council in Western Wisconsin. "It's been really tough for them this year,” Wells said. Those cookies sales account for about 77% of all Girl Scout funding. "It's been a lot of head scratching for troop leaders to figure out how they are going to continue delivering a fantastic girl scout program to their troops,” Andringa said,

So the Girl Scouts started a donation drive to donate cookies to front line workers at local hospitals. "They are able to think about who is helping the community right now and how can we help them,” Wells added. Those hospital workers then wanted to pay it forward and purchased cookies to donate to Lake Hallie fire and police department. "This is so nice to have when we are out on a fire, we can take boxes with us and feed our personnel while they are out there plus we come back here and it gives us something to relax,” said Mark Roshell, the assistant chief for Chippewa Fire District.

They hope the circle continues and more donations come in. "It's not the girls knocking on doors, it's them knocking on our door,” Andringa added. Maybe you want to stock up on cookies for yourself or maybe you want to donate to those workers helping our community. The cookie sales support our local Girl Scouts and now those on the front lines. "I think that just makes the cookies taste even sweeter,” Andringa said.

There have been several large donations of cookies happening for essential workers in our area. If you would like to get in touch with a local troop to make a donation or purchase cookies you can email info@gsnwgl.org or call 888.747.6945.