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Girl Scouts turn down $100,000 gift after donor insists money cannot be used to help transgender girls

Group has launched fund-raising effort to make up for loss of cash

Andrew Buncombe
Thursday 02 July 2015 11:28 BST
President Obama and Girl Scouts in the White House grounds
President Obama and Girl Scouts in the White House grounds (Reuters)

It was a donation that startled the Girl Scouts of Western Washington.

But once they read the provision that was subsequently attached to it, officials realised they could not accept the $100,000 gift. Not a cent of it.

The donor had insisted that the money not be used to support transgender girls, so officials returned the donation.

“Girl Scouts is for every girl, and that is every girl regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion. Every girl is every girl,” Megan Ferland, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, told the Associated Press.

“It was a sad decision, but it was not a difficult decision. There was no way I would be put in a situation of refusing a girl participating because of a gift. It was really that quick.”

Ms Ferland said the donor gave the money a few months back. But in the middle of a a national discussion about gender rights and the Girl Scouts in the aftermath of the story of Caitlyn Jenner’s transgender journey, the donor wrote back.

To make up for the $100,000 they turned down – a quarter of what the group raises each year to help pay for the girls to go to camp and other take part in other activities, leaders launched a new fund-raising campaign.

“Help us raise back the $100,000 a donor asked us to return because we welcome transgender girls,” it said on its fundraising page on By Tuesday afternoon, the campaign had already given more than $185,000.

“We are astounded,” Kate Dabe, the council’s vice president, told the news agency. “We were prepared for a 30-day campaign. We raised our goal in a day.”

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