Local girls are starting their own small businesses through Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois’ (GSNI) Fall Product Program, offering gourmet food items and magazines to community members, from October 18–November 1. Interested customers can ask a Girl Scout for an order form, call GSNI’s Fall Product Program hotline at 800-242-5591, Ext. 7250, or e-mail an order to firstname.lastname@example.org where it will be filled and delivered by a local Girl Scout!
If customers don’t want to purchase items as gifts or for themselves, they can donate to the military in $5 increments. This donation program, known as “Gift of Caring Project Share,” was created especially to show support for military men and women. A $5 donation purchases one candy or nut item and four $5 donations purchases one subscription to a magazine for a military service member. All candy, nuts, and subscriptions are ordered virtually and donated directly to the military. Girls who receive two $5 donations toward the Gift of Caring Project Share earn a colorful Share Patch for their commitment to our military troops!
The Fall Product Program consists of a variety of 12 different nuts and candies, 10 of which are gluten free. New this year is two collector tins, both filled with delicious chocolate, along with Dulce De Leche Owls. Food items start at $5, and no item is more than $8. For a product preview, visit http://www.girlscoutsni.org/events/fall-product-program.
Along with the treats, girls will also offer over 600 magazine titles with 95 digital magazines, 72 of which are free with the printed magazine subscription.
While the Fall Product Program is not as well-known as the Girl Scout Cookie Program, it is just as important to Girl Scouts! Both programs teach girls important skills and help them earn money for troop activities. Proceeds from the Fall Product Program help troops to fund activities and service projects that begin long before the wintertime Girl Scout Cookie Program. Girl Scout Product Programs differ from traditional fundraisers by encouraging girls to work together to decide how to spend troop funds rather than dictating how the proceeds will be used.
Girls learn five valuable life skills through participation in the Fall Product Program. They set personal goals for themselves and a troop goal to achieve what they want to do as a group. They use decision making skills to provide input on how to maximize sales and spend troop proceeds. They hone people skills by learning how to talk to, listen to, and interact with many different types of people while gaining an understanding of the importance of customer service. By managing money, girls get a better sense of the importance of counting change properly and ensuring a check is completed correctly. Last but not least, they learn about business ethics. Girls gain an understanding of how important it is to be honest, meet deadlines, and properly market a product.
Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois serves over 17,000 girls and 4,000 adult volunteers in parts or all of Boone, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, and Winnebago Counties.