It's not easy to turn away a hundred thousand donation, especially when that amount of money covers nearly a third of your annual fundraising goals. But for Megan Ferland, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, when that money came with a stipulation, she had no problem giving it back.
The caveat on the donation read: "Please guarantee that our gift will not be used to support transgender girls. If you can't please return the money."
Return the money she did, with zero hesitation. "Girl Scouts is for every girl," she said, "and every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to."
After relinquishing the sizeable amount of their annual funding, The Girl Scouts of Western Washington set up an Indiegogo fundraiser to try and recoup the lost funds. The council admitted that their goal was "ambitious," but they hoped they could do it in the 30-day limit.
After raising $40,000 right away, the media campaign, dubbed #ForEVERYGirl, was shared across the internet and has since more than doubled its original goal, currently sitting at over $268,000.
One donor wrote, "I was a Girl Scout in Seattle for 10 years. It was an important part of my life. And now, as the spouse (for more than 40 years) of a transgender woman, I can only imagine what scouting could have done for her. Thank you for maintaining the highest principles of scouting."
The Girl Scouts of America have been vocal about their stance on inclusivity for years, and reaffirmed that stance last month when the American Family Association targeted the organization with a petition demanding they rescind their trans-inclusive policy.
"There is not one type of girl," explained Chief Girl Expert Andrea Bastan at the time. "Every girl's sense of self, path to it, and how she is supported is unique."
The Girl Scouts of Western Washington are continuing their fundraising campaign to help even more girls who need financial assistance to attend summer camps and troop gatherings.
"It's astounding," the troop's public relations director Stefanie Ellis told The Advocate. "We are overcome with gratitude for the outpouring of the support for all of our girls. We're excited about being able to serve more girls because of the generosity we have seen."
Donate to the Indiegogo campaign here.