Palestine Bracelet Sale for Children’s Relief Fund Sparks Controversy in Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri – Amidst the usual hustle and bustle of Girl Scouts cookie season fundraising, a troop in Missouri took a different approach. Troop 149, consisting of eight girls, decided to raise money by making and selling bracelets, with the intention of donating the proceeds to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund during the ongoing crisis in Gaza.
Troop leader Nawal Abuhamdeh supported the girls’ decision, noting their passion and empathy for the situation. However, their plans were met with resistance from the Girl Scouts of eastern Missouri, citing the organization’s policy against engaging in political activities.
Surprised by the response, Abuhamdeh mentioned other instances where Girl Scout troops engaged in similar efforts, such as aiding families in Ukraine following the Russian invasion. Despite the troop’s disbandment due to the disagreement, the community in St. Louis rallied behind the girls, helping them raise over $20,000 for Palestinian children through the PCRF.
The incident caught the attention of the Council on American Islamic Relations (Cair), prompting a response from the Girl Scouts’ chief executive, acknowledging the need for clearer fundraising policies and a commitment to inclusivity and anti-racism within the organization.
Abuhamdeh, although disappointed by the lack of a direct apology, highlighted the positive outcome of the girls finding their voice through the experience. She expressed hope that it would inspire them to always use their voices for noble causes.
Overall, the disbandment of Troop 149 shed light on the complexities of navigating humanitarian efforts within structured organizations, showcasing the importance of empathy, inclusion, and community support. Through adversity, the girls discovered the power of advocating for what they believe in and standing up for important causes.