Girl Scouts, Red Cross join forces to save lives

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published February 19, 2014

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — They are as American as baseball and apple pie, and now they are coming together in Michigan for the sake of others.

The Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan (GSSEM) and the American Red Cross are hosting “Give blood, get a cookie” drives in various communities in southeast Michigan.

The message is as straightforward as devouring a cookie: People who donate blood to the Red Cross will be able to enjoy a tasty treat, courtesy of the GSSEM.

“It started in other states, and (we) decided it would be something beneficial for us,” said Yavonkia Jenkins, director of communications for GSSEM. “People love Girl Scout cookies, and the Red Cross is in a situation where they need to increase donations. Giving out cookies and encouraging to donate blood is a win-win.”

Jenkins said that there is an array of cookies at every stand, including Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils, Thank You Berry Munch and Do-si-dos.

Girl Scouts will also be selling cookies for $4 a box at many blood drives — including the near 100 drives in February.

The first drive took place during the Meridian Winter Blast in downtown Detroit on Feb. 8. More than 300 blood drives are expected to take place until the final March 16 date, and locations include, but are not limited to, Detroit, Clinton Township and Port Huron.

The GSSEM is also donating more than 2,000 boxes in that time span.

“Nationally, both groups have been partners in various things for a number of years,” said Martha Kurtz, communication spokesperson for the Red Cross. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for both associations.

“It’s a mutual thing. (We’re) both iconic organizations and most everyone knows about the Girl Scouts and Red Cross. We joined forces and are doing something together to which both organizations could benefit.”

Kurtz said that the process is an easy one.

Interested parties are suggested to make appointments prior to donating blood. Once they have donated, they are invited to stay for refreshments as a way to relax. Donors usually receive water or some kind of juice. In this current stretch, they will also be offered Girl Scout cookies.

“It really does benefit both organizations — brings us together,” Kurtz said. “Both are community support organizations, and it allows the Red Cross to get in touch with Girl Scout supporters who haven’t donated blood or thought about it.”

To make an appointment, call 1-800-RedCross (733-2767) or visit