Houston-area Girl Scouts lose $3 million in revenue without cookie booths amid coronavirus

Amber and Aubrey Dominguez are some of the thousands of Girl Scouts who navigated new challenges in their cookie-selling endeavors this year. (Courtesy Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council)
Amber and Aubrey Dominguez are some of the thousands of Girl Scouts who navigated new challenges in their cookie-selling endeavors this year. (Courtesy Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council)

Amber and Aubrey Dominguez are some of the thousands of Girl Scouts who navigated new challenges in their cookie-selling endeavors this year. (Courtesy Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council)

As the coronavirus pandemic alters operations for various businesses and nonprofits across the Houston area, members of the local Girl Scout council are adjusting activities to deal with millions in lost revenue from missed cookie sales.

Connie Chavez, the chief external affairs officer for Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council and a local troop leader, said 6,000 cookie booths were canceled when the cookie program was suspended in mid-March. This resulted in a revenue loss of $3 million.

“COVID-19 just really struck at a vulnerable time,” Chavez said.

Girl Scouts sell cookies to help fund their camp activities and resources for the entire year, including program fees, maintaining camp properties and the financial aid program, Chavez said. The San Jacinto Council, with more than 50,000 members and 18,000 volunteers, is the second largest in the country, Chavez said; it covers 26 counties in southeast Texas, including Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller.

The council has tried to make up for the absence of physical booths by extending the online portion of cookie sales, Chavez said, and by expanding the existing Cookies4Heroes program, which allows buyers to donate boxes to “local heroes” such as essential workers. Amid the uncertainty of the pandemic, the council keeps returning to one key phrase, she said: “School is canceled, gathering is canceled, but Girl Scouting is not canceled.”

Local Girl Scouts have been sewing and donating masks, as well as sending cookie boxes with thank-you's and notes of encouragement to first responders, Chavez said. Troop meetings are happening virtually, and girls can engage in various Girl Scouting activities online.

Girls interested in becoming Girl Scouts can complete the at-home activities as well, as they are available to the public. Chavez encouraged interested volunteers to complete training during their down time to be ready to serve in the fall.

Any changes to upcoming camps will be made based on public health guidance, and programming will be continually assessed and developed to ensure it can meet girls where they are at, Chavez said. The council anticipates a higher need for financial aid after the pandemic subsides as girls take interest in the program, she added.

“Historically after disasters, families really gravitate to programs like [Girl Scouts] because they’re accessible; they’re proven,” she said. “Girl Scouting is synonymous with helping and making the world a better place.”

By Colleen Ferguson
A native central New Yorker, Colleen Ferguson worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. Colleen graduated from Syracuse University in 2019, where she worked for the campus's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange, with a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a degree in Spanish language and culture. Colleen previously interned with The Journal News/lohud, where she covered the commute in the greater New York City area.



Courtesy Stan's Pop Shop
IMPACTS ROUNDSUP: Stan's Pop Shop now open and more

Here is a roundup of business news from around Clear Lake and League City.

The text of General Order No. 3, which Gordon Granger issued from Galveston in June 1865 to explicitly liberate enslaved Black Texans, runs across the bottom of the mural. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
‘I am filled’: Houston-Galveston area celebrates first Juneteenth as federal holiday

See how local policymakers, historians, artists and philanthropists honored the Juneteenth holiday at its birthplace with the dedication of a 5,000-square-foot mural.

The Texas Central rail connection from Dallas to Houston will feature a bullet train similar to this one. (Courtesy Texas Central Partners/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Supreme Court declines to review high-speed rail case, freeing company up to use eminent domain

Texas Central, the company looking to build a 236-mile high-speed rail line connecting Houston and Dallas, has been given a big win in an ongoing legal battle over whether the company is legally recognized as a "railroad company" under state law.

There will be various events across the Houston area celebrating the Fourth of July, including League City's Fireworks Extravaganza. (Courtesy of League City)
12 Fourth of July weekend events, celebrations to attend in the Greater Houston area

Here are 12 Fourth of July weekend events throughout the Houston region.

When he is not on the UHCL campus, Delgado is employed part-time as a legal assistant at Travis Bryan Law Group and is also a firefighter with the Pasadena Volunteer Fire Department. (Courtesy University of Houston-Clear Lake)
University of Houston system appoints first-ever University of Houston-Clear Lake Hawk as student regent

Derek Delgado, who is pursuing an undergraduate degree in legal studies at UHCL, will work directly with other student governments throughout the university system and help advocate for student needs.

(Rendering courtesy Land Rover of Clear Lake)
IMPACTS ROUNDUP: Land Rover of Clear Lake coming soon and more

Here is a roundup of local business news from Clear Lake and League City.

Alvin Community College President Christal Albrecht (left) and University of Houston-Clear Lake President Ira Blake signed an articulation agreement expansion June 10 that will allow ACC associate degree students to co-enroll in UHCL’s Bachelor of Science in nursing program. (Courtesy University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Alvin Community College, University of Houston-Clear Lake expand nursing program partnership

The agreement between the colleges will streamline the transition process between ACC’s associate degree program for nursing and UHCL’s RN-to-BSN program.

ribbon cutting
Nearly $400M project to boost Houston-area water supply by up to 500M gallons a day

The project has been in development for over 50 years and broke ground in 2017.

Following Hurricane Harvey, debris lined the streets in many parts of Harris County. (Danica Lloyd/Community Impact Newspaper)
After Department of Housing and Urban Development denies request, Texas General Land Office drafting plan to subaward Harris County $750M for flood mitigation

The Texas General Land Office now plans to subaward Harris County flood mitigation funding after the county was left out of recent Hurricane Harvey relief funds.

(Rendering courtesy Intuitive Machines)
Intuitive Machines opening Lunar Operations Center at Houston Spaceport

After landing a module on the moon in the first quarter of 2022, Intuitive Machines plans to make an annual effort to send hardware to the lunar surface, and it will do its work from the Houston Spaceport.

Scott and her husband Dan Jewett gave $30 million to the college, which is the largest private gift in San Jac’s history. (Courtesy Fotolia)
San Jacinto College receives largest private gift in college history from MacKenzie Scott

The former wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos donated $2.7 billion to nearly 300 high-impact organizations “in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked,” she announced June 15.