This year, more than 6,500 Girl Scouts across central and northern Arizona are practicing their entrepreneurial skills by participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program.
With COVID-19 precautions in place, girls are being challenged to find new ways of selling cookies.
To help ensure the success of the Girl Scout Cookie Program, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation has issued a $665,000 grant to the Girl Scouts—Arizona Cactus-Pine Council in support of the program and long-term goals of the organization.
As part of the grant, the foundation will purchase the equivalent of one dozen boxes of cookies from every Girl Scout who is participating in GSACPC’s 2021 Girl Scout Cookie program. At nearly 80,000 boxes, this is the single largest cookie purchase ever made in Arizona and will help the council meet its goal of selling 2.1 million packages.
The girls will be credited for the cookies and can determine where to donate the corresponding boxes through the GSACPC Gift of Caring program to organizations such as food banks, the military, first responders and other nonprofits.
“The Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches girls important lessons about entrepreneurship, responsibility, goal-setting and more,” said Renee Parsons, president and executive creative director of PXG Apparel. “When you buy a box of Girl Scout Cookies, you are helping develop the next generation of female leaders, and that’s something we are proud to support.”
The cookie program plays a key role in promoting equity among GSACPC members. Proceeds allow local girls — almost 50 percent of whom live in households below the self-sufficiency threshold — to invest in themselves, give troops funds for activities and community service projects, support Girl Scout operations and provide financial assistance to girls who otherwise would not be able to participate.
“We went into this year’s cookie program not really knowing how COVID-19 would impact us, but we are extremely proud to be able to offer our girls a sense of normalcy in a year that has been anything but normal,” said Tamara Woodbury, CEO of GSACPC. “Mr. and Mrs. Parsons’ belief in providing a means to help girls grow their entrepreneurial, public speaking and financial skills through this modified take on our cookie program is evident in their generosity.”
With fewer boothing opportunities and an emphasis on contactless selling and delivery, this is a challenging year for Girl Scouts who are participating in the cookie program.
Because of COVID-19 precautions, GSACPC has developed new ways for girls to sell cookies safely. Girls have set up drive-through booths, are using QR codes on door hangers and selling through the Girl Scouts’ Digital Cookie platform introduced several years ago.
The public can find cookies nearby using the Cookie Finder at www.gscookiefinder.com. This year you can even have cookies shipped directly to you from a local Girl Scout troop. Cookie season for the GSACPC takes place through Feb. 28, and as always, all proceeds stay local.
“The Girl Scout Cookie program is about a lot more than cookies,” said Bob Parsons, founder and CEO of PXG. “It’s about helping young girls build self-confidence and learn real-world lessons about business and entrepreneurship.”
The Bob & Renee Parson Foundation has been supporting Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council in significant ways over the last six years and the recent grant brings its total support to more than $7,790,000. In addition to the cookie purchases, funds will be used as needed to ensure all GSACPC girls, including those in disadvantaged communities, enjoy a successful cookie season. To learn more about the cookie program visit GirlScoutsAZ.org.