‘Cookies for Life’: 10-year-old ex-Girl Scout raises thousands for pro-life with home-baked cookies
BOISE, Idaho, March 1, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – When Grace Swanke, 10, found out that Girl Scouts is entangled with Planned Parenthood, not only did she decide to quit her troop, but as someone who loved to sell cookies, she decided to make and sell her own brand of cookie, but with a pro-life twist.
“The thing I enjoyed most about the girl scouts was selling cookies, and then I realized I could still sell cookies, I just had to bake them myself,” Grace told LifeSiteNews.
Several years ago, a significant number of Girl Scout councils nationwide admitted to partnering with Planned Parenthood (PP). When questioned about the affiliation on NBC’s “Today Show,” former Girl Scout CEO Kathy Cloninger admitted that Girl Scout Troops and Councils partnered with Planned Parenthood to provide “good” and “information-based” sex education. She never retracted this statement.
At first young Grace was going to call her project “Grace’s Cookies,” but when she decided that all money raised would go to fund an ultrasound machine for the local pro-life clinic, she knew she had to change the name. That’s when Cookies for Life was born.
“I find that what is so great about being pro-life is donating money to pro-life charities so women can see life. When women see life, women choose life,” said Grace.
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The young entrepreneur started her project last year with a number of baking sessions and raised almost $600 to benefit a Knights of Columbus ultrasound machine project in her area. Now on her second year of baking, Grace plans to aid the Stanton Healthcare Center, a medical pro-life women’s centre in Boise, by helping them to pay for their new location, right next door to Planned Parenthood. Her goal of raising $700 has already been surpassed by $900, for a total of $1600.
Cindy Anderson, youth minister at Our Lady of the Rosary and friend of Grace, told LifeSiteNews that she is “so proud of Grace” and that the young girl is “so totally an inspiration.” With Anderson’s help this year, Grace was able to make use of the Church’s facilities to make even more cookies.
“Grace is thrilled that she is able to sell cookies again and even more thrilled that this money is going to help save babies. Her face just lights up when you talk with her about it. You can’t help but to get involved because she is so excited about it,” said Anderson.
Word of Grace’s tasty cookies and pro-life convictions have begun to spread far and wide. Organizers for the upcoming Idaho Catholic Youth Convention have asked her to bake 2,800 cookies for the 1400 young people that are expected to attend the event and to share her convictions as a speaker at the conference. The money raised from this will also benefit the pro-life clinic.
Grace’s parents, Mary and John Swanke, believe that the Cookies for Life project has taken off because family, friends, and the local community have come together for a cause that everyone believes in and can get excited about.
“Words cannot say enough to thank everyone for all of their hard work! God is good, ALL THE TIME!” wrote Mrs. Swanke on the Cookies for Life Facebook page after a recent successful baking campaign.
As people have often heard Grace exclaim as she bakes and sells her cookies: “All it takes is a little ‘yes’ to God and amazing things can happen.”