You'd think the world would have learned by now that you don't get in between hungry folks and their Girl Scout cookies. Alas, not yet. A city in Missouri told a set of teenage Scouts they were violating the law against selling things from home by selling their Thin Mints and Samoas from their driveway.
What was so inappropriate? So vile? So unlawful? Apparently a card table in the driveway, with a Girl Scouts-approved green tablecloth and a pile of cookie boxes. It's the kind of thing that leaves normal Americans me drooling. No wonder Abigail and Caitlin Mills have done it for six years running, and had already sold 1,700 boxes this year alone ... before the shutdown!
Their mom is currently suing the City of Hazelwood, not for money, but to get a final ruling on whether or not the city can make this kind of pronouncement about how kids use their own property. But she shouldn't have to do this, should she? It would seem there's a pretty clear difference between kids fundraising for a non-profit (which the Girl Scouts is) and an adult selling cars off the front lawn or even puppies out of the garage.
Imagine holding a tricycle-a-thon on your driveway for St. Jude. Would the city shut that down? How about a Mary Kay party at your house? I'm willing to bet no on both sides -- but both have something in common with the Mills' girls' plight.
One is out, front and center, raising money for charity -- which the city said violated the "occupancy code." The city's code is pretty strict -- it allows for families to live together, but only allows for four other non-related persons to share a property. I'm no lawyer, but the girls were occupying their own space, on their own driveway ... and the cookie buyers were just visiting. One wonders if they're going to start shutting down sleepovers too?
Then there's the issue of "selling from the home," which the girls allegedly violated. It would seem to go in hand with a makeup, jewelry, or sex toy party too, wouldn't it? Except the girls weren't reaping any funds from this; it all goes to the non-profit Girl Scouts, an organization that does a lot of good for girls in any community.
It's an organization more communities would do well to foster and support, as they empower girls and encourage them to give back TO their communities. That these girls are teenagers -- Caitlin is 16, Abigail is 14 -- is even more remarkable. So many teens fall out of these kind of positive projects, but the Mills girls are still plugging away.
I'm not usually a fan of blanket laws, but I wouldn't mind seeing cities across the land jump on board with giving the Girl Scouts a break for their cookie sales. It's a way to build a future.
What do you think? Should the Scouts get a break? Or should they be subject to these sort of laws?
Image via Collin Anderson/Flickr