Fourth-grader Elouise Anderson, 10, of Pepper Pike is one of nearly 150 Girl Scouts in the Orange community looking to sell cookies through Quarantine Cookie-grams. 

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. That’s the attitude that Girl Scouts of America Service Unit 741 Director Kim Ullner and her scouts have taken toward COVID-19, the disease caused by a novel coronavirus that is putting the state in a virtual lockdown. With 9,000 boxes of cookies to sell, troops in the Orange schools community found a creative solution.

Ms. Ullner, who also serves as a troop leader for two Girl Scout troops, said that the girls were slated to start selling at local stores last Friday. With the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Mike DeWine has encouraged Ohioans to practice social distancing to avoid contact with other people who may be infected. According to Kimberley Graves, director of marketing, communications and recruitment strategies at Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, cookie booths are temporarily suspended. Some booths may be rescheduled for April, she stated last week.

Local Girl Scouts created the Quarantine Cookie-gram concept to sell their cookies from a safe distance while spreading kindness and cheer, Ms. Ullner said. People who want to order cookies may email to say that they want to order cookies. A Girl Scout will respond with a link to a website to order cookies. She said that the payment is handled online, then the order is dropped off at the delivery address, provided that it is near the Orange City School District community.

“They can send cookie-grams to friends and neighbors,” she said on Monday. “These are stressful times. This is an effort to let someone know you’re thinking of them.”

There are several troops within the Orange district, which totals about 150 girls. Ms. Ullner said that the girls and their parents want to respect Gov. DeWine’s wishes and do not want to be carriers for the virus and pass it along to their customers. She emphasized that safety and health always come first.

With the Quarantine Cookie-gram, Girl Scout cookie fans can order boxes for themselves, their friends and family and for first responders. Ms. Ullner explained that some people choose to donate their box to local hospital and emergency room staff members who are serving the population during the coronavirus situation.

“It’s a way for the community to help us and pay it forward,” she said.

Several troops have teamed up on this initiative, she said, so the troops take turns for who receives the revenue from each cookie order via the cookie-gram.

Ms. Graves advised that 100 percent of the net revenue of each purchase stays local. There is also a cookie relief fund for troops with unsold cookies due to the coronavirus pandemic. Customers can also download the Girl Scout cookie locator app to be notified when cookie booths return to local stores.

To order a Quarantine Cookie-gram, email, then the Girl Scouts will respond with a link to place an order.

Julie Hullett has been a reporter for the Chagrin Valley Times since August of 2018 and covers Gates Mills, Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere. She graduated from John Carroll University with a journalism degree in 2018.

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