The largest organized fundraiser for girls in the nation kicked off Friday and, unfortunately for some, is sure to put more than a few New Year's resolutions to the test.

That's right: Girl Scout Cookies are now available to purchase.

Waxahachie troop 2330 leader Deborah Fung provided insight on the local selection of cookies in Waxahachie and shared some handy tactics so an individual can find their favorite cookie.

“This Friday, all the individual girls can sell and then in two weeks on [Jan.] 25th, troops will sell together,” Fung stated.

A free cookie locator app is available to display troops who sell cookies in a public area. The app is called, Girl Scout Cookie Finder, and can be downloaded onto any iOS or Android device.

Fung mentioned that there are two different bakeries for Girl Scouts so if a person cannot find that particular flavor locally, it is probably in a different county.

“There are different cookies depending on what bakery you have, which is why some people can’t find the cookie,” Fund emphasized.

The Waxahachie area utilizes the Little Brownie Baker instead of the ABC Bakers.

In Waxahachie, the Brownie Bakery provides S'mores, Thin Mints, Trefoils, Savannah Smiles, Do-si-dos, Tagalongs and Samoas. Cookie fans may notice the Toffee-tastic cookie returned to the lineup but is not in the area, as well as the gluten-free version of the same cookie.

Wendy Shappard, the service unit 251 manager, provides assistance and resources to troops in Waxahachie, Italy and Maypearl. She said there are currently 10 troops within this geographic range that sold 36,492 boxes of Girl Scout cookies in 2018 and earned close to $23,000.

“Proudly, one of our Service Unit 251 girls from Waxahachie sold the most within our area at 4,018 boxes, earning a trip this past summer to Washington, DC," Shappard said. "The top number for our entire council was 8,837 boxes.”

Shappard explained how the profit of the cookies benefits different aspects of the Girl Scouts, noting approximately 60 cents per box sold goes toward personal activities. This year, Troop 2330 has planned a trip to The Great Wolf Lodge. Additional proceeds are kept within the 32 counties of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas to fund camps and other programs.

Another figure that troops incorporate in the cookie budget are donated cookies to nonprofits. In the past, Troop 2330 has given to the Waxahachie Fire Department as well as Veterans Affairs hospitals, Manna House and Texas Baptist Home for Children.

Shappard boasted about Troop 5526, in particular, for their charitable assistance and impact on the community. Last year, Troop 5526 voted to utilize a portion of proceeds to purchase items for The Little Pantry in Waxahachie. Shappard said the pantry provided assistance to over 60 families over the summer of 2018.

“They also provided school supplies to eight elementaries, purchased new toys and learning activities for the children's church where they meet, supplied prizes for a bingo day at the Senior Center, and provided goodies to every first responder at our local fire & police stations for Sept. 11,” Shappard elaborated.

During last year’s sale, the Waxahachie community also sent 760 boxes of cookies to servicemen and women overseas.

“We are extremely grateful to the residents of Waxahachie and Ellis County that help us achieve our goals in teaching the five skills associated with our cookie program, business ethics, goal setting, decision making, people skills and money management.”

LIFE-LONG BENEFITS

Fung explained the act of selling the cookies provides an entrepreneurial experience that allows the girls to set individual and troop goals.

“With the cookie sales, the Girls Scouts have different badges for cookie sales where they learn,” business, entrepreneurialism and finances, Fung explained.

“In the beginning, they just learn how to talk to people, and as they get older, they do actually have badges that involve being an entrepreneur,” Fung added. “The nice thing about Girl Scout cookies is that it really gives the girls a chance to have a hand going out selling and saving that money.”

Cory Bray, public relations with the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, wrote in a press release that each box sold contributes to the “change makers of today and tomorrow.”

A study found that two out of three who participate In the Girl Scout Cookie Program learn five critical skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.

The statement elaborated on research that showed female-founded starts-ups generate more revenue over time and per dollar than male-founded start-ups. Only 17 percent of start-ups are founded by women. The release also stated over half — 53 percent — of female entrepreneurs and business owners are Girl Scout alumnus.

If interested in joining a local Girl Scout troop, visit gsnetx.org/join or text JOINGS to 64600.

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450