A girl is a girl, period. That’s the stance the Girl Scouts have taken recently, after it returned a $100,000 donation when the donor stipulated the money couldn’t be used to help transgender kids.
The Washington group was thrilled when they first received the donation; the $100,000 represented a quarter of their budget and would have helped 500 members go to camp. But elation quickly turned to despondency when a shocking letter followed the donation, stating “Please guarantee that our gift will not be used to support transgender girls. If you can’t, please return the money,” Seattle Met reported.
So Council CEO Megan Ferland did what the note asked. She returned the donation and set up a fundraiser on IndieGogo to recoup the much-needed money. The Scouts not only raised $100K — an amount Ferland considered quite “ambitious,” the Advocate added — but doubled the returned donation.
So far, they’ve raised $250,000. And guess what? That money will be used to help transgender children, because as the campaign’s slogan states, the Scouts are for every girl — no questions asked.
That kind of inclusion is incredibly important to all kids, but especially critical to those with gender identity issues. Some of the campaign’s donors shared their motivation for contributing on the fundraiser’s page, one woman stating “I was a Scout in Seattle for 10 years. It was an important part of my life. And now, as the spouse (for more than 40 years) of a transgender woman, I can only imagine what scouting could have done for her.”
Transgendered people face a lot of violence, discrimination, and prejudice — as the returned $100K donation proves — and the decision to welcome everyone into its ranks ends isolation for these vulnerable children. Psychologist Kristina Olson said such “social support” gives kids self-esteem and makes them stronger.
“It certainly is the case that for all people … having people acknowledge the identity that you see yourself as having is very important.”
This isn’t the first time the Scouts, and Ferland specifically, have publicly stated that all girls were welcome in its troops. In 2012, a seven-year-old transgendered child was rejected by a troop in Denver, and Ferland spoke out in support of the child, working to find a troop for her to join.
That support goes all the way to the top, to Scouts USA Chief Girl Expert Andrea Bastani Archibald, according to the Advocate.
“There is not one type of girl. Every girl’s sense of self, path to it, and how she is supported is unique. If (she) is recognized by her family, school and community as (female) and lives culturally as a girl … (this) is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe.”
With funds pouring in, the organization hopes to send 2,000 children to camp instead of the original 500 the returned $100K would’ve supported, ABC7 added.
[Photo Courtesy YouTube Screengrab]