It’s not an image a grocery store customer might see often—G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ entrepreneurs at a booth without the traditional Fall Product Program nuts and candies. Instead, Girl Scouts across the region are supercharging their businesses using the power of the Girl Scout Council-wide community service initiative, Project Thank You.
For the first time during Fall Product Program season, Heather Ervin, Kirksville resident and Girl Scout troop leader, has been helping her G.I.R.L.s organize a virtual Project Thank You booth which will be stationed at the city’s local Hy-Vee. Ervin’s Girl Scouts are determined to organize and fund a trip to Savannah, Ga., this May to visit Juliette Gordon Low’s home, but Ervin was worried about taking on more product than the girls could sell.
“Our plan is to have the virtual booth where the donations will go directly to the USO of Missouri,” Ervin said. “This way we don’t have to worry about product-in-hand, but we get to help our troops and at the same time, we’ll hopefully raise more money toward the trip.”
In preparation for their booth, Ervin’s Girl Scouts have created posters describing Project Thank You and the impact a donation can have on military personnel. They’re hoping customers will give them the opportunity to explain Project Thank You as they come through the store and then gift a $5 donation, or any amount. These young entrepreneurs are planning on matching so if a person gives $1, the troop will provide the remaining $4 so they can ensure a package of nuts and candies will be distributed to our active military servicemen and women.
“We have done a Fall Product Program booth in the past but it’s tough,” she said. “People are really looking for Girl Scout Cookies, so we’ve experienced pretty mediocre sales in the past. But we’re hoping this year people will be more inclined to donate.”
Established seven years ago, Project Thank You is a community service program designed for eastern Missouri Girl Scouts, where each $5 donation from a customer provides a package of nuts or candy to active U.S. military members. More than 8,000 items were donated to the USO of Missouri in the 2018 Fall Product Program.
For the past two years, the top 15 Girl Scouts who earned the most Project Thank You donations, are given the opportunity to gift these items at the USO of Missouri’s annual Holiday Block Leave held at St. Louis Lambert International Airport. These remarkable go-getters are stationed at the Girl Scout Council’s booth handing out these delicious treats from 1 to 6 am as thousands of military individuals come through the terminal.
Madison Wolf, a 12-year-old Girl Scout, hopes to return to the Holiday Block Leave for a second time as she was one of the top 15 in 2018.
“I want to go back this year because I loved helping the younger Girl Scouts pass out nuts and candies,” Wolf said. “I also loved seeing the smiles on the faces of our military men and women when we offered our products to take home for the holidays. It made me so happy because they fight for our freedom everyday and I was just glad we gave them a small token of appreciation.”
Wolf, a St. Charles resident, is also planning to be a part of her troop’s virtual Project Thank You booth within the last remaining weeks of the Fall Product Program season. Like Ervin’s Girl Scouts, Wolf hopes to share the importance of this program with her customers.
Fall Product Program season is still going strong with three weeks remaining of the digital portion of the program—that means all treat, magazine and Project Thank You purchases are made using their online Fall Product Program storefronts. The season will conclude on Sunday, November 24 but there is plenty of time to earn rewards and one-of-a-kind experiences. This year, as a special opportunity, the Girl Scout Council has added two additional spots to the Holiday Block Leave adventure. Instead of just 15 G.I.R.L.s, 17 will be invited to join!
Questions? Contact the Answer Center at 314.400.4600.
Happy Fall Product Program season!