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Girl Scouts deliver boxes of cookies to front-line heroes

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore has donated more than 50,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to employees on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic and is asking members of the community to help share the love.

“COVID-19 may have halted annual spring cookie booth sales, but it can’t stop Girl Scouts from their mission of giving back to the community,” said Eileen Higgins, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, which is based in Howell and serves 10,000 girls across Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Soon after the health crisis erupted, Girl Scouts began asking their families, neighbors and friends to purchase their inventory of cookies to donate to essential workers, according to a press release.

The Girl Scouts’ deliveries of cookies and notes of thanks brought comfort and joy to hundreds of hospital employees and first responders throughout central New Jersey, according to the press release.

To support the girls’ efforts and to reach even more community heroes, the council recently launched the Girl Scout Cookie Relief Fund, Higgins said.

Area residents and business operators are invited to donate to the fund, enabling Girl Scouts to continue delivering cookies to essential workers and volunteers, and at the same time draw down their inventory of cookies, according to the press release.

“Donors can think of their gift as a ‘thank you’ to our selfless front-line workers and volunteers and feel good knowing they are supporting the goals of 10,000 girls wanting to make a community impact. The Girl Scout cookie program teaches girls how to be entrepreneurs and funds their community projects and leadership experiences,” Higgins said.

When Dr. Stephen Chagares of Shrewsbury heard about the challenge facing Girl Scouts, he joined their campaign with a donation, according to the press release.

He also helped to deliver more than 400 boxes of cookies to employees working in the emergency room and intensive care units at Hackensack Meridian’s Monmouth and Riverview medical centers in Long Branch and Red Bank, respectively, and at medical sites that are providing COVID-19 testing.

“Dr. Chagares came into the ICU on Easter with Girl Scout cookies and a smile,” said Lori DeMarco, a cardiac monitor tech in the ICU at Riverview Medical Center.

“We appreciated the gesture, especially on a holiday, as we were taking care of patients and away from our families,” DeMarco said. “His energy and the Girl Scout cookies gave us all a much-needed smile and lifted our spirits. And who doesn’t love a Girl Scout Cookie?”

Members at the Deal Golf and Country Club also pitched in to support the Girl Scout Cookie Relief Fund by making a donation to buy out the cookie inventory of two troops and asking the girls to donate them locally, according to the press release.

The girls chose to donate the cookies to front-line workers at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, and to fire and police departments in Deal.

“This was a great solution all around,” Higgins said. “The girls successfully completed their cookie season and were so happy to share kindness with hospital heroes and Deal’s first responders, all thanks to the kindness of members from the Deal Golf and Country Club.”

So far, cookie deliveries have been made to a dozen hospitals in mostly central New Jersey, and to scores of first responders, as well as to volunteers at area food banks, according to the press release.

“We are proud of our Girl Scout troops for all they have done to bring bites of joy to essential workers and volunteers, and truly grateful to all who have generously supported their efforts,” Higgins said.

The council’s goal is to donate an additional 100,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to essential employees and volunteers. Anyone interested in supporting the Girl Scout Cookie Relief Fund can visit GSFun.org/CookieRelief

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