It’s all about connecting, and this week we were really able to make those connections work for a number of families and organizations in the East Mountain and Estancia Valley communities.

When COVID-19 caused local Girl Scout troops to cancel their annual cookie sales, it meant troop activities would not have the funding they need. Meanwhile, local food pantries were stretching to serve increased numbers of families as a result of job cutbacks due to temporary business closures.

Recently, Tom Torres at EPCOR Water asked Greater Edgewood Area Chamber to recommend a way they could help a community organization during this difficult time. About that same time, we received a call from Girl Scouts New Mexico Trails. With the cookies sales cut short, they were hoping to find donors and be able to give donated cookies to community heroes. That is what Girl Scouts is all about—programming for girls and teaching the values of community service. The call sparked an idea.

Epcor employees delivering Girl Scout cookies to the East Mountain Food Pantry.

Here in the East Mountains and Estancia Valley, we have our own network, and we were sure we could make this work. EPCOR agreed to make a $1,000 donation to purchase 200 boxes of Girl Scout cookies from local troops (which will help support the program needs of 137 girls). We contacted Kristi Pohl, a local Girl Scout service unit manager, who coordinated with nine local troops, serving girls from Tijeras to Moriarty, to put the large order together. Those cookies were then donated to three local food pantries (Bethel Community Storehouse, East Mountain Food Pantry, and Valley View Christian Church), so that those organizations can help brighten the week for 200 local families with an extra treat of cookies in food boxes.

This is exactly how our economy works, too. One purchase (or donation) supports numerous other people and organizations. Please shop and donate locally—it really does support far more people than you may realize.

Girl Scouts New Mexico Trails Council serves 6,000 girls and adults in 23 central and northern New Mexico counties. The Council goal was to sell 50,000 boxes to support girls in their region. With the COVID-19 interruption to sales, they are at half of that number. Donations can be made online at nmgirlscouts.org.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.