FARMINGDALE, NJ - It sure is cold outside, but here’s something to warm you up – the annual Girl Scout cookie sale starts this Friday, January 20! Over the next three months, thousands of Girl Scouts across Monmouth and Ocean counties will sell these time-honored tasty treats throughout our community. In addition to the traditional favorites like Samoas and Thin Mints, a new cookie has been introduced this year in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting – the Savannah Smiles, a cool, crisp lemon wedge cookie.

We all know that Girl Scout cookies are delicious, but there’s so much more that a cookie can do. A Girl Scout cookie can help a family in need, comfort a soldier far from home or provide the financial means for a girl to reach her dreams. When you purchase a box of Girl Scout cookies, you’re not only helping the community, but also teaching that Girl Scout the skills she’ll need to be successful in the future.

The Girl Scout cookie sale provides an opportunity for girls to enjoy themselves while simultaneously learning essential life skills such as customer service, money management and teamwork. Sale activities feature age-appropriate lessons that combine business basics with the fun commonly associated with Girl Scout activities. The program builds leadership, financial and literacy skills with girls actively making discoveries and decisions about marketing, budgeting and goal setting.

In addition to teaching these important skills, the product sale program also provides girls with multiple opportunities to raise funds which help the girls reach the goals they’ve set for themselves. Girls at all levels learn to set goals, whether it is a trip overseas or a day at the spa, and achieve those dreams through determination and teamwork. Consequently, parents appreciate the program for both the life lessons taught to their daughters, as well as the goals and dreams girls can achieve that might otherwise be out of reach financially.

Equally as important, the Girl Scout cookie sale also supports other community organizations such as the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties and the United States military. New this year, the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore is partnering with Press Communications, owner of Thunder 106, B98.5 and The Breeze, for a new addition to its “Gift of Caring” program to increase the number of cookies we give to these outstanding organizations. Through this partnership, local restaurants will have the opportunity to partner with a Girl Scout from their town to donate boxes of cookies to the United States military and Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. A donation of $4 from a restaurant customer will donate one box of cookies to the military and Foodbank. This program is beneficial to both the organizations receiving cookies and the Girl Scouts as they learn business ethics, communication skills and other important lessons in working with local restaurant owners.

For more information on the Girl Scout cookie sale, visit www.jerseyshoregirlscoutcookies.com.