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July 05th, 2020

cookies for courageROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times


This spring, Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland (GSKH) launched a new program to deliver their cookies to essential workers on the front lines of  the COVID-19 outbreak.

Now professionals at hospitals and nursing homes in Liberal and Garden City can enjoy something sweet thanks to generous Kansans.

This week, through its Cookies for Courage program, GSKH delivered cookies to St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City and Southwest Medical Center in Liberal as well as nursing homes in Liberal.

The Liberal donation was part of a partnership between Girl Scouts and Seward County United Way Director Clarissa Carrillo, who worked with the Garden City Girl Scouts office prior to coming to United Way.

Because of this experience, Carrillo said the partnership was an easy one to make.

“The Garden City office called me, and they said, ‘We want to donate cookies. Will you accept the donation of cookies?’” she said. 

Through a partnership with Genesis Family Health and the Liberal Area Coalition for Families, United Way is helping provide food boxes to people in town, and with this in mind, Carrillo said there was no question about accepting the cookies.

“I was like, ‘Sure, I’ll take at least 60 packages of cookies.’ They’re like ‘No, no, no. We’re giving you 900 packages of cookies.’ How can I say no? I said we’ll definitely take them, but I have a better idea. Why don’t we just share them around town? That’s what we did.”

Carrillo said 200 boxes were donated to SWMC, and another 200 were taken to Genesis for people who need food assistance. Another 200 were taken to Stepping Stone Shelter, and some of the remainder of the boxes were taken to Seward County Community College and Liberal Memorial Library.

Carrillo said the donation was part of one of her agencies helping some of the other agencies United Way supports.

“They’re one of our agencies with United Way, so for us, it’s better to continue to support our agencies, especially during these tough times,” she said. “For Girl Scouts, I believe they started cookie season right around the time the pandemic started. It put a stop for the girls to go out and sell the cookies and get the experience of learning the skills of not being afraid to ask or to hear ‘no.’ We support our agencies as best as we can, and if they ask us if we want cookies, of course, we’re not going to say ‘no.’”

Through the Cookies for Courage initiative, Kansans have purchased packages of cookies to donate to health care providers, grocery store clerks and others who have been required to work amidst the pandemic.

“It’s a way for us to come together,” Carrillo said. “Through this whole pandemic, we’ve seen coming together and helping each other. They were able to help Genesis with their food boxes and the Stepping Stone Shelter by just giving a donation that can help individuals there. It’s coming together and putting the resources in different places and helping in the common good in our community.”

GSKH CEO Liz Workman said Cookies for Courage has offered Kansans an opportunity to thank those who keep communities strong.

“Kansans are known for helping others in need, and this new option has delivered a sweet treat to our essential community members on the front lines,” she said.

Girl Scout cookie season was set to run March 22, but due to COVID-19, in-person sales were suspended. Cookies for Courage has offered generous Kansans the option to give individual Girl Scouts to entire troops credit for these donations. This has helped girls continue to reach their goals and power amazing experiences through the Girl Scout year.

Kansans can learn more about the Cookies for Courage program at

“We are so appreciative of the support of caring Kansans who donated to Cookies for Courage so we could share these sweet treats with so many deserving people on the front lines keeping our communities safe,” GSKH Director of Communication Muriel Boyce said.

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