At age 8, Lilly Bumpus is already a warrior. As an infant, she took on rare Ewing’s Sarcoma and won.
The experience left her decided to take up the struggle for different children fighting cancer. Her dream? To show them they also can be strong.
This year, Lilly took a huge step forward in making that dream come true by breaking the record for selling the boxes of Girl Scout Cookies in a single season—32,484, to be exact.
Now that’s a great deal of dough.
The victory is particularly sweet because Lilly will be donating a massive chunk of the proceeds to fund childhood cancer research as well as an organization that feeds the homeless.
“She revealed our community and the planet it’s more than just buying cookies or buying a product,” Lilly’s mother, Trish Bauer, told The San Bernardino Sun.
“It’s encouraging someone’s dream. Whether it ’s a company owner or an 8-year-old woman slinging Girl Scout cookies, Lilly encouraged people to support a dream and a mission, not simply a product. ”
While the pandemic effectively derailed most of the Girl Scouts conventional in-person selling strategies, Lillys function as cancer awareness advocate had put her on the social media fast track, so becoming something of an internet brand ambassador was a sheet of cakeor cookiesfor her.
Lillys regular posts to her FB pagein which she answered questions, dished her unedited cookie reviews and detailed her philanthropic philosophypaid off.
She also set up a curbside booth outside her house, where she spent two months worth of afternoons. One day, toward the close of the season, her mother reports that she and Lilly “boothed” for 11 hours straight, selling 500 boxes.
But Lilly didn’t just conquer America, she conquered the world. In addition to selling cookies in all 50 states, her client base spans Canada, England, Spain, Paris, Rome, and as far away as Egypt. Bauer was blown away by the widespread support. “[The world] is showing my 8-year-old cookie-hustling cancer survivor that together we can and will end cancer,” she posted to Facebook. “That nothing is impossible when you make it possible! ”
To Lilly, the logic behind her worldwide success is more simple : “The world hates cancer just like we do mom. It’s time for us all to work together to end it! End it for once and for all. ”
Considering that Lilly and her family were the driving force behind the Team Lilly Foundation, a company that offered financial supported and created holiday care packages for hospitalized kids across the country, it only makes sense that in addition to the cookies she sold, Lilly also collected 5,200 cookie boxes to be contributed to a variety of worthy causes.
The tasty stash is defined to be divvied up between the Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, Loma Linda University Childrens Hospital, and the Childrens Hospital of Orange Countyas well as pediatric patients in New York and Texas cancer centers, U.S. troops abroad, and the homeless.
The other women in Lilly’s San Bernardino troop share something in common—cancer. Whether they’re survivors like Lilly, now fighting, or have lost a family member to the disease, it’s a special bond which makes their shared achievements all the more meaningful.
“It seems like the entire world believes in me and it feels really great,” Lilly told the San Bernardino Sun. “It means so much to me that people are coming to support me by purchasing cookies…. The reason why I wanted to beat the record is because I wanted to help all kinds of Girl Scouts in the world and tell them they can do it just like I did… I simply wanted to be inspirational. I wanted to help. ”
Juliette Gordon Low attracted the Girl Scout organization to the United States in 1917. Their cookie-selling efforts began five decades later. The world may have changed a lot since then, but now, purveying boxes of happiness to benefit a worthy cause when teaching young women they could achieve the goals they believe in is a pretty darn sweet accomplishment.
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North Carolina-based writer Judy Cole has a new rom-com murder mystery debuting at Amazon: And Jilly Came Tumbling After (from Red Sky Presents ).