Heartwarming Kindness at a Booth Sale

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A Cookie mom's experience at a recent booth sale.  It's a lovely story!

I've worked for Girl Scouts for almost 10 years, and if there's one thing I know, it's that the first weekend of cookie booth sales is BIG.  What I didn't know until yesterday, when I captained my first booth sale at a local Wal-Mart with my Daisy daughter and her fellow troop members, was just how big an impact it could have on me.

Sure, I know that loading 20 cases of cookies isn't easy and sitting out in the hot sun with five-year-olds for two hours can certainly be a challenge.  However, I wasn't prepared for the wonderful outpouring of support from our community.  It was amazing to see how many people told us they just couldn't resist those sweet smiles our girls gave when they asked said "Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?," or how many ladies and gentleman stopped by on the way into Wal-Mart to make a promise to buy cookies on their way out of the store (and, yes, our girls only asked them on their way out).  I also was overcome by the number of folks who said they couldn't afford a box of cookies, but gave us a dollar or a couple of quarters, instead.

One such individual, though, really touched my heart.  I had noticed the man in tattered clothes sitting outside Wal-Mart as I pulled up to drop of our cookies.  He was smiling at folks as they walked in, just watching the busy Saturday afternoon scene.  I assumed he was homeless, but didn't have much time to think about it as we busily shuffled cookies and got ready for our sale.  Toward the end of our shift, the gentleman walked up, simply handed our girls a dollar, smiled and said "good luck." It touched me, and our other parents, that this man, obviously hard on his luck, could be so generous to our girls.

I was relating this story to my parents that evening, and my father, who volunteers with our local homeless coalition, said he had heard of the man we'd seen, and that, yes, he is homeless.  He was laid off from his job and now spends his time at Wal-Mart, and even helps bus tables at a local fast-food restaurant, just to keep busy until he finds a job. Well, the gentleman will be rewarded for his dollar given to our troop, as I have arranged for him to receive a box later this week.  Such a generous, selfless act should not go unnoticed and certainly serves as a teachable moment for our girls.

Girl Scouts are blessed to have the support of many strangers.  It is through their kindness that our organization survives and our girls are able to develop courage, confidence and character.  I hope you can find such inspiration in your work during this busy cookie season, and I wish you many happy booth sales.  Look forward to seeing you out there!

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