The council's CEO, Megan Ferland, explained that along with the donation came a letter with a request from the donor, whose identity is unknown. "Please guarantee that our gift will not be used to support transgender girls. If you can’t, please return the money."
It didn't take Ferland long to know what the right thing to do was. She returned the money with a note of her own. "Girl Scouts is for every girl," she wrote. "And every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to."
This isn't the first time the Girl Scouts have been publicly supportive of its transgender scouts. Despite protest from many conservative organizations, the Girls Scouts have had a policy in place for over four years that allows transgender girls to participate. The organization has not caved to various cookie boycotts over the years, and they are now solidifying their inclusive stance by returning this large donation.
But fear not! Ever the resourceful group of girls, the Girl Scouts of Western Washington won't let this bigoted would-be donor get them down. They've launched a crowdfunding campaign to make up for the lost donation and, more important, to let everyone know that scouting is truly for every girl. They've also started the hashtag #ForEVERYGirl. So far they've raised over the original donation in only one day, proving that everyone not only loves the cookies these girls sell but the fact that they stand up for their beliefs, even if it means turning down money that could have done a lot of good for their troops.
And in case it is still not clear, the Girl Scouts of Washington have posted their mission right on their Indiegogo Page:
And through their participation in Girl Scouts, they’re empowered to:
- Use their voice to stand up for what they believe in
- Be proud of who they are, and
- Support each other to take action to make the world a better place.
If you intend to donate, you had better hurry, as some of their supporter perks are running out. As a former Girl Scout who still has her sash and skirt tucked away in a closet, I'm a little bummed I wasn't able to get a #ForEVERYGirl badge to add to my collection.
It should also be noted that the Girl Scouts are both more inclusive and tolerant than their counterpart, the Boy Scouts, which has a long and sullied history of homophobia.
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