Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts hold annual fundraisers to benefit their scouting needs, and both organizations accept funds that can be applied to military donations. Donations raised by both scouting organizations go towards the distribution of popcorn and cookies to local military organizations and food pantries, and often shipped overseas for troops to enjoy a taste of home.
Boy Scouts Popcorn
The Boy Scouts of America hold their annual fundraiser every October selling Trails End popcorn. They offer a variety of flavors including caramel corn, kettle corn, microwaveable, and chocolate covered. They also offer special bundles, tins, and even coffee.
Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts often go door to door in their neighborhoods to sell popcorn, but they can also be found selling outside of the local grocery store or after mass at their home churches. Selling popcorn is a great way to teach entrepreneurial skills to youth, and while the fundraiser is intended to raise money for scouting activities, many scouts take pride in collecting military donations because they truly enjoy taking the opportunity to help others.
When a military donation is made, 100% of the donation is tax deductible to the donor and they receive no product of their own. Instead, 75% of the donation goes to local scouting and 25% of the donation is applied to product that will be donated to the military. When the fundraiser is complete, select products are sent to military members, their families, and Veterans organizations.
Boy Scouts of America has partnered with Soldier’s Angels to distribute popcorn to the military. In 2018, Trails End and the Boy Scouts of America helped raise over $5 million worth of popcorn that was distributed to VA Hospitals, National Guard units, and military bases across the country and overseas. In Orange County, California alone, nearly $60,000 was raised for military donations. Scouts presented over $18,000 worth of popcorn to the troops at Camp Pendleton, and nearly $40,000 will be shipped overseas.
Girl Scout Cookies
Every year at the end of January, Girl Scouts kick off cookie season. Young entrepreneurs head out to sell sweet treats to earn money for their troops to go towards scouting activities and programs. In addition to cookies, the girls offer buyers the option of purchasing a cookie share. Cookie Shares are donations that are tallied at the end of the fundraiser and those funds go towards distributing boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to local food pantries and military organizations.
Girl Scout Cookies come in a variety of flavors including the ever popular Thin Mints and Samoas (or Caramel DeLites. They also offer a new gluten free cookie – 2019’s flavor was caramel chocolate chip.
Every year, Girl Scout Troops in Orange County, California donate more than 50,000 boxes of cookies to the military and local food pantries. In 2016, an Ohio Girl Scout Council donated over 90,000 boxes to the military, and in 2015, Soldiers Angels gave away 225,000 boxes of cookies to the military and veterans both at home and overseas.