“The biggest impact that we see and when you talk to the girls you’ll hear them say, is that they belong to something, they have a sisterhood within the other Girl Scouts,” said Meredith Maskara of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York.
“They talk to other girls who may be in their same situation who feel alone, and they feel like they have a stronger sense of community and belonging overall.”
Over two million children experience homelessness in any given year, according to some estimates, with or without their families. Predictably, children experiencing homelessness are more likely to become homeless adults; much like wealth is handed down from generation to generation, so is poverty. Due to the chaos of their home lives, homeless children miss an average of 20 school days per year, and are less likely to be learning at their grade level, and more likely to drop out. When only considering elementary-aged students, who are more reliant on their parents for transportation, that number skyrockets to 88 days per year.
Some laws, like the underfunded McKinney-Vento Act of 1987, and its recent update, the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, attempt to provide basic factors of stability and opportunity to K-12 students experiencing homelessness, but those basics aren’t all that children need to thrive and compete in the so-called “normal” world inhabited by kids who don’t face the same problems.
As for the Scouts, they’re having a grand old time slinging the sweet treats. As one unnamed girl told CBS 2, she loves selling cookies. Why?
“It makes other people happy, and I like making other people happy.”
You can support the troop with donations to cover everyday expenses like programming, badges, and more, or buy cookies online.