The Girl Scouts of the USA have this great habit of doing everything right while the Boy Scouts of America still think gay adults deserve to be banned from leadership positions.
A few months ago, a donor made a $100,000 contribution to the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, but it came with a caveat:
… the donor asked us to return their gift unless we guaranteed that the money would not be used to help transgender girls.
That’s not the sort of bigotry they want any part of, so the group gave back the money. It couldn’t have been easy since that amount is “about one-quarter of what it raises each year to provide financial help for girls to go to camp and participate in other activities.” But they stuck by their principles:
“… Every girl is every girl,” Megan Ferland, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, said in an interview Tuesday. “It was a sad decision, but it was not a difficult decision. There was no way I would be put in a situation of refusing a girl participating because of a gift. It was really that quick.”
As you’ve probably heard by now, the group wisely began a fundraising campaign to make up for the dirty money, and it’s been an incredible success. As I write this, they’ve raised more than $316,000.
“We are astounded,” [the local council’s vice president of marketing and communications Kate] Dabe said. “We were prepared for a 30-day campaign. We raised our goal in a day.”
Part of me wishes there was a way to verify that someone did, in fact≤ try to make this donation. I don’t doubt the story, but religious conservatives (the type of people who would be opposed to money being used on transgender girls) have long criticized the Girl Scouts for their inclusive nature and ties with progressive groups. So what sort of person would give a huge donation to the Girl Scouts as long as they didn’t help all girls?
The group isn’t releasing any information about the donor, “citing privacy concerns,” but I hope reporters ask for at least a redacted email with the original demand. Just to verify all of this.
But, taking off the skeptic hat for a moment, what a wonderful story. I love that the group raised more than three times what the donor wanted to give them by not caving in to a bigoted stipulation.
We always knew bigotry doesn’t make any ethical sense. Sporadic fundraisers for Christian bakers aside, I hope this is part of a larger trend showing that it doesn’t make a lot of economic sense either.