by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Members of Girl Scout Troop No. 45060 play with Maggie, a dog up for adoption at Oregon Dog Rescue. The troop recently donated $400 to the organization.If you ask the six members of Tigard Girl Scout Troop No. 45060 what they did, they will say they sold cookies.

But the girls in this troop are a bit different than others. You could say their cookie sales are going to the dogs.

Girl Scouts of the USA has been selling boxes of cookies for decades. The sales have become a major fundraiser for troops all across the nation, with girls raising hundreds of dollars to help pay for trips and events.

Money from the cookies is divided between the troop and the Girl Scouts organization. But this troop of Brownies — comprised of second- and third-graders from Templeton and Durham elementary schools — decided that rather than pocket its share for its own use, the girls opted to give it back to the community by performing two community service projects.

The girls donated half of their money — about $400 — to the Oregon Dog Rescue, a Tualatin no-kill shelter that helps rescue homeless canines from shelters with high kill rates.

The Tualatin shelter operates largely on donations. Along with the cash contribution, the girls arrived with more than $100 worth of supplies.

Girls marched in with boxes of paper towels, laundry soap, garbage bags, dog shampoo and other items that the organization needs.

“I love dogs, and I love working with dogs,” said 10-year-old Samantha Houston. “Some are really nice.”

The girls also made sure to spend time with the rescue’s pooches, taking them on walks and giving them a little tender loving care.

Many troops donate a portion of cookie profits to local groups and organizations, said troop leader Margaret Houston, but it isn’t required.

Some troops help in other ways, such as making goodie bags for sick children or completing other service projects.

“They are there to learn how to work hard,”Houston said. “We wanted the girls to understand what they were helping to do.”

Last year, the troop donated about $350 to The Pongo Fund, a Portland food bank for animals.

“We like to share about half of what we make with a community service project,” she said. “And every little girl likes animals. This year we wanted to do something a bit different.”

The girls are currently working on making several dog beds and snacks for the organization, which they plan to deliver later this month. The Brownies have also stopped in several times to help care for the animals.

But wait, there’s more

Between Feb. 14 and March 9, the troop’s six members sold more than 1,700 boxes of cookies and donated 173 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to soldiers serving overseas through Give2TheTroops, an organization that sends care packages to servicemen and servicewomen serving around the world.

“I liked doing that because my mom and I like sending things to special people and soldiers,” said Déja Fitzwater, 9.

The boxes were donated by customers who purchased a box but opted to donate it to the troops upon the girls’ requests.

“There are a lot of people that want to support Girl Scouts,” said Jill McNatt, whose daughter, Abigail, is in the troop. “If somebody wants to help out, but doesn’t want the cookies themselves, we can donate them.”

The girls said they enjoyed everything about the experience, but there were a few standout moments.

“I have two favorite parts,” Samantha Houston said. “My favorite parts were donating the money and walking the dogs.”

Abigal McNatt, who was one of the troop’s top sellers, said it’s all about technique.

“My favorite part was selling the cookies,” she said.

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