Lilly Bumpus has been a fighter since she was born. As an infant, she had rare cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. Now an eight-year-old cancer survivor, Lilly is determined to help other children.
This year, Lilly decided to donate a significant portion of her proceeds selling Girl Scout Cookies to a childhood cancer research organisation and another that feeds the homeless. She went above and beyond her duty by selling 32,484 boxes, which broke the record for the most boxes of Girl Scout Cookies sold in a single season.
“She showed our community and the world it’s more than just buying cookies or buying a product,” Trish Bauer, Lilly’s mother, said to The San Bernardino Sun. “It’s supporting someone’s dream. Whether it’s a business owner or an 8-year-old girl slinging Girl Scout Cookies, Lilly encouraged people to support a dream and a mission, not just a product.”
While the pandemic made selling cookies in-person difficult, Lilly came up with creative ways to sell her cookies and advocate for her cause. She took to social media and used her Facebook page to answer questions, review cookies, and spread her message. Lilly also spent two months’ worth of afternoons in a booth outside of her house selling cookies. One day, she sat there with her mother for 11 hours straight and sold 500 boxes!
Lilly’s campaign was a roaring success. She sold Girl Scout Cookies to customers in all the states of America and to people in Canada, England, Spain, Paris, Rome, and Egypt.
“(The world) is showing my 8-year-old cookie-hustling cancer survivor that together we can and will end cancer,” Bauer posted to Facebook. “That nothing is impossible when you make it possible!”
Lilly’s cookies didn’t just go to well-meaning customers. She also donated 5,200 cookie boxes to groups such as the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. U.S. Troops overseas, and the homeless received cookies as well. Additionally, pediatric patients at cancer facilities in Texas and New York also enjoyed some of her delicious Girl Scout Cookies.
Her San Bernardino troop all share a desire to end cancer, as they each have experiences with the disease. The troop consists of cancer survivors, those still fighting cancer, and ones who know someone with cancer. Having this shared struggle, has bonded the troop together. They all believe in the Girl Scout motto, “Be Prepared,” which means that a person should be ready to help whenever and wherever they are needed.
When asked about her fundraising achievement, Lilly said, “It feels like the world believes in me, and it feels really good. It means so much to me that people are coming to support me by buying cookies…The reason 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 just wanted to be inspiring. I wanted to help.”
However, this isn’t Lilly’s first experience with philanthropy. Lily and her family also ran the “Team Lilly Foundation,” – an organisation that gave financial support to hospitalized children around the US. They also created holiday care packages for them to enjoy.
Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts organization in England in 1911. She brought it to the States in 1917, and the group began selling cookies soon after. You can learn more about the Girl Scouts on their website https://www.girlscouts.org/.