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Here's How A Box Of Thin Mints Can Help A Girl Experiencing Homelessness In NYC

Troop 6000 was created entirely for girls living in New York City's homeless shelter system.

by Morgan Brinlee

Buying Girl Scout cookies has always resulted in a sweet treat. But now, a box of Thin Mints can do more than just satisfy a sugar craving — it can provide vital skills in leadership, goal setting, interpersonal communication, money management, and decision making to a young girl. But buying Girl Scout cookies online from Troop 6000 specifically can help fund activities that teach those skills to girls experiencing homelessness in New York City.

Troop 6000 is a Girl Scout troop created by the Girl Scouts of Greater New York in 2017 to specifically serve the thousands of girls who live in the New York City shelter system. All proceeds from the troop's online cookie sales go toward funding things like troop members' uniforms, badge activity supplies, and field and camping trips.

In 2020, the New York City municipal shelter system provided beds to 122,926 different individuals, more than 39,300 of whom were recorded to be children, according to The Coalition for the Homeless. Additionally, Girl Scouts of Greater New York has estimated there are roughly 12,000 girls living in New York City shelters.

According to Girl Scouts of Greater New York, members of Troop 6000 meet each week in more than 20 different shelters spread across the city's five boroughs. They're led by women who also live in the shelter system and have been trained as troop leaders as well as community-based volunteers. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, troop leaders have been facilitating virtual meetings. Membership fees, monthly dues, and the cost of vests, patches, workbooks, and pins are covered for Troop 6000 members by the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, which also accepts donations on behalf of the troop.

But ultimately, Troop 6000 does what any other Girl Scout troop would do — they earn badges in things like the STEM academic disciplines, environmental protection, civic engagement, and community service. They take field trips, attend Girl Scout Camp, socialize and connect with each other, practice leadership skills, build confidence, and sell cookies through the Girl Scout Cookie Program.

While troops developed specifically to serve girls in shelters aren't exactly common within the Girl Scouts of America organization, Troop 6000 isn't believed to be the first troop set up for girls experiencing homelessness. According to The New York Times, similar troops have been formed in shelters in Atlanta, Georgia; Broward County, Florida; and San Pedro, California.

You can easily purchase cookies from Troop 6000 using the Girl Scout's digital cookie ordering form, just be sure your order form says "Troop 6000'S Cookie World" at the top. Buy them for yourself or send a gift box of cookies to a loved one.