With the U.S. economy in a downward spiral and all sectors feeling the pinch, it seems no organization has been left unscathed. First it was the financial industry, then the auto industry. Now, it appears, it will be the venerable Girl Scouts of America.
Girl Scout spokeswoman Candy Twirl announced on Christmas Eve that the Girl Scouts have prepared a request for assistance to present to Congress shortly after the New Year. "This is a step that we have considered for some time," Ms. Twirl said in a prepared statement. "The economic tsunami that has swept our nation--and the World--has left us searching for help."
Though reluctant to discuss the organization's finances, Ms. Twirl noted that the economic crisis had hit the group's annual cookie sales particularly hard. "Sales are down," Ms. Twirl admitted. "There's no way to sugar-coat it. The only division to show increased revenue was the Tagalong Peanut Butter cookie division. That simply won't cut it. We need some relief and we need it soon."
As evidence of the hard times facing the all-girl organization, Ms. Twirl held up a beaten and torn green uniform worn by members of the group for nearly a century. Words seemed unnecessary.
"We put off this decision as long as possible," Ms. Twirl commented as she gently folded the tattered uniform. "The truth of the matter, however, is that the Girl Scouts affect nearly 300 million people in the United States in some fashion. The collapse of the Girl Scouts would be catastrophic not only to the national cookie economy but also to the cultural fiber of our great country. We cannot allow that to happen. That is why we will be requesting assistance from Congress."
Though declining to specify a figure, Ms. Twirl did not deny that the Girl Scouts intended to request a congressional aid package in excess of $100 trillion. "I am not, at this moment, at liberty to discuss the specific details of our planned request. I will just say, however, that our request is in line with what other industries have requested and is based, in part, on the number of people that can be expected to be impacted by the assistance. So, yes, the number will, by necessity, be large."
Ms. Twirl was quick to rebuke suggestions that a request for such assistance sent the wrong message to little girls raised under the mantra of independence and self-sufficiency. "This is exactly the right message to send to our young leaders," Ms. Twirl snipped. "This is all about self-sufficiency--meeting the needs that one has identified. This is just one of many ways to do just that."
Ms. Twirl also noted that the request was consistent with the organization's policy of "developing financial literacy skills." "This is nothing but a positive move for the Girl Scouts and those who participate in girl scouts. We could not be more proud of our decision," she said, concluding her remarks.
Shares of rival cookie maker Nabisco fell sharply on news of the Girl Scout's impending request.