#FOREVERYGIRL

The Girl Scouts turned down $100,000 to fight for transgender rights—and then raised $250,000 from supporters

The Girl Scouts of Western Washington gave a donor back $100,000 when the donor said the organization couldn’t use the money to support transgender girls. Instead, the regional Girl Scouts office took to the crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise more than a quarter of a million dollars online from supporters of transgender girls in two days.

“We won’t exclude any girl,” proclaims the video on the site. Since June 29, people have already donated $252,603 as of this writing, and that’s with 29 days left.

The campaign went viral after Seattle Metropolitan published a story on June 29 that was picked up by national news outlets.

“This is the right thing to do, so there was not anything else to do other than return the gift,” the regional council’s CEO Megan Ferland told the Seattle Met before it had reached its $100,000 goal and doubled it by day two. “And we need the $100,000 back so we can serve more girls. So we’re going to do everything we can to raise that money. And if it raises a ruckus, it raises a ruckus.”

According to the Indiegogo page, the donations will “go to our financial assistance program and be awarded directly to girls who qualify for the federal free-and-reduced-price meal program at their schools and whose families request help to cover the costs of participating in Girl Scouts.”

Ferland led the organization’s Colorado council a few years ago, and at the time made sure a 7-year-old transgender girl found a troop, the Seattle Met reports. The incident prompted some Louisiana mothers to protest by dissolving their troops. A May Girl Scouts national blog post says that the organization welcomes transgender girls. But as it told Quartz and noted on its blog:” Inclusion of transgender girls is handled at a council level on a case-by-case basis, with the welfare and best interests of all members as a top priority.”

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