A Special Letter to Our Hard-Working Volunteers

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Dear Colleagues,

I know how hard you have been working to make the 2010 cookie sale a success!   I have heard numerous stories about new ways to sell cookies.   We have many more girls involved in the cookie sale this year, and are poised for a very successful "cookie season."

This year, we have worked to make the sale even easier for you, our volunteers. We piloted a new drive-through delivery system trial in the Montgomery area and worked to make the online booth sale scheduler easier for volunteers to use.   We also provided the cookie program books earlier, so leaders could work with girls on the program and integrate it into the girl activities.  We worked hard to provide cookie bucks and other improved incentives for girl participation. There is considerable work and communication that transpires before the sale ever start, and the staff felt very positive about the prospects of the sale this year.

In spite of all of our best efforts, this has, however, been a frustrating cookie season in many ways.  We work with the cookie baker in advance of the sale and do estimates of our beginning inventories for warehouses and cupboards.  Last year, the cookie baker made too many Girl Scout cookies, so they put them in a landfill at the end of the sale.   Because of the national decline in sales, the cookie baker is much more conscious of the number of cookies they are producing for the sale, which has translated into you not having enough cookies to fill your orders.  

We were told we would have 10 percent more cookies in our warehouse than our initial order in 2009.   That didn't happen.   From the first day of deliveries, we did not have that amount of cookies.   The cookie team has been on the phone continually talking to those we work with at the bakery to get more cookies to you.   We all want this sale to be a success.   To that end, we told the cookie baker last Thursday our cookie supplies were depleted; yet, we did not receive any shipment of cookies for 8 days.   And when the shipment came in, it still didn't have all of the types of cookies we ordered.   We have not had Trefoils for most of the sale, which is a top-selling cookie in this council.

I have been on the phone and sending e-mails trying to get your girls more cookies.   We know here is nothing worse than having cookies sold with no product to deliver, and many of you have shared your understandable frustration.     Know that those of us who work for you and your girls have been and are doing everything we possibly can to get cookies to you as quickly as we possibly can.   Quality customer service is one of those issues that come into play when selecting a cookie baker.   We will be scrutinizing responsiveness, quality of incentives and product going forward.

We thank you and appreciate all you do to make this a great council.   We appreciate all your year-round hard work.   Thank you for all you do that helps to build girls of courage, confidence and character.

 

Sincerely,

Elizabeth M. Brent, Ph.D.

CEO

4 Comments

We have been somewhat affected by this, but everyone I have worked with, has understood the situation. What concerns me is the fact that we as a serving charitable organization, work with a company that would fill a landfill with cookies that could have been donated to someone somewhere. Either way Little Brownie Bakers took a loss on merchandise not sold. Why could they not give it away? Let me guess, bueracracy with the government, I'm sure.

Even though my council was out of cookies each week, we did receive more cookies before the weekend booths. That was a plus. I am also bothered by the cookie baker destroying unopened boxed and cased cookies. Our troop donates cookies each year to a church food pantry that distributes product to underprivileged families and day care centers for "at risk" kids. Surely there were other options than putting the cookies in a landfill!

I was horrified to hear any cookies went into a landfill. And as you suggest, it is a brand issue with GSUSA. Know I will be asking about this with GSUSA.

America's second Harvest is now called Feeding America. Their website is filled with loads of information as well as ways to act. This could be a good resource not only for us as troop leaders and volunteers, but also to pass along to corporations and companies that we do business with. I feel that "dumping" cookies in a landfill really goes against everything that I,as a troop leader, strive to instill in my girls and live by day to day. Horrified describes it exactly.

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