Human Rights

After the Girl Scouts of Western Washington received a $100,000 contribution earlier this spring, the office was overjoyed.

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The donation represented almost a third of their total financial assistance budget for the year, a fund used to help underprivileged girls join the Scouts.

But then, in May—in the wake of Caitlyn Jenner’s debut—the donor reportedly reached out to the troop with a request: “Please guarantee that our gift will not be used to support transgender girls. If you can’t, please return the money.”

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According to Seattle Met, Western Washington council CEO Megan Ferland wrote the donor a short letter and returned the money.

Ferland’s message was clear: “Girl Scouts is for every girl,” she told Seattle Met. “And every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to.”

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Ferland’s stance is reflected by the Girl Scouts of the USA, who released a statement in May saying troops were more than welcome to include transgender girls.

Because of the sudden fundraising deficit, the Western Washington chapter set up an Indiegogo campaign Monday to raise the no-longer-available $100,000, using the hashtag #ForEveryGirl to help draw attention to the cause.

In less than 24 hours, the troop reached their $100,000 fundraising goal, with more than $133,000 raised as of 4 p.m. EST Tuesday.

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Comments on the Indiegogo page from contributors are overwhelmingly positive: “I’m proud to say I’m a lifetime member of Girl Scouts of Western Washington,” wrote Ashley Woller. “Way to be on the forefront of change and inclusion!”

At the bottom of the Indiegogo page, the council thanked their donors: “On behalf of the girls we serve, 100,000 thanks for anything you can do to help. Together we can say loud and clear that Girl Scouts is for EVERY girl!”

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