How this local Girl Scout troop is supporting our military, one cookie box at a time

Girl Scout Troop 91 of North Myrtle Beach.
Girl Scout Troop 91 of North Myrtle Beach. Submitted photo

It seems everyone loves Girl Scout cookies.

And that's what has made a local troop's goal so daunting.

Girl Scout Troop 91 of North Myrtle Beach is asking that folks put aside their own sweet tooth and instead purchase the beloved cookies for a bigger purpose: a tribute to our troops.

Partnering with Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10804, the troop is attempting to sell 600 boxes that can be sent to each of the soldiers aboard the USS New York, which currently houses a spouse of a member of the local VFW Auxiliary.

"We sell them to the public like any other troop does, but part of the project that they decided they wanted to do was to get whoever would buy them to give them as a donation, then we would send them to the USS New York," said Jamie Bandari, a co-leader for Troop 91.

The idea originally came from VFW post treasurer and S.C. Youth chairman Cathey Farley, who told the troop of the Auxiliary's connection to the soldiers on the USS New York. Her suggestion of selling boxes with hopes of donating to the troops morphed, however, when the scouts decided to up the ante.

"It was kind of the girls' idea to, 'hey, instead of just getting a few, why don't we get enough so we can have one for everybody that's aboard the ship?' " Bandari said.

With the bold plan in place, the troop got a head start by racking up donated boxes during community events at the VFW.

"So far, just their group and their efforts - like the community coming in - we've sold about 225 boxes, so we have a long way to go," Bandari said.

The troop has been setting up at local stores in hopes of selling more donated boxes. From noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, the scouts will be set up at Lowe's Home Improvement in North Myrtle Beach.

"They're constantly chatting about it. They're constantly getting excited," Bandari said. "And the more that we sell, they're like 'Hey, I sold two or I sold five more boxes.' They're very, very excited."

The troop has been working toward the goal since the second week in February and has until the end of March to complete it.

"It's something amazing they can do, you know, besides the ordinary day-to-day stuff," Bandari said. "It's something that's outside that they've never done before so they're super excited."

Once completed, the VFW plans to host the troop for a pizza party in which they will pack the cookies up with hand-made cards before sending them off to the men and women aboard the USS New York.

Bandari and Co. know it's a lofty goal and one that will require a lot of selflessness. Parting with those delicious cookies is no easy task.

But neither is the one Troop 91 is taking on.

"They always brag about how good that the cookies are, but I think that people really get excited when they see the girls at the booth and they see their faces and they know that they're working really hard towards a certain goal - whether it's, you know, helping out a community affair or going on a special trip or something like that," Bandari said. "So I think that the customer that's buying them, yeah, they're tasty, but I think that they also enjoy the idea of helping the girls out as well."

If you would like to donate, you can reach Bandari at jcbandari@yahoo.com.