Economy to affect Girl Scout cookie sales?

RALEIGH The /*Girl Scouts*/ walk through neighborhoods and go door to door every year at this time, taking cookie orders.

One scout, Mary-Margaret Brooks, is /*Wake County*/'s champion cookie seller.

On day one of this year's drive, she sold 200 boxes, with a little help from her friends.

"It's harder to say no to little Brownies and Juniors, because they're so cute," Brooks said.

Still, some wonder if the sour economy's bad enough to take a bite out of this year's fundraiser.

"So sales aren't down, are they," one customer asked. "I saw it in the paper. They said that they thought it would stay up."

Not a problem for Brooks, who sold more than 2,000 boxes last year.

This year, though, the Girl Scouts face a real challenge. More and more people are losing jobs and those people who have jobs find themselves with not a lot of money to spare.

Right now in Wake County more than 25,000 people are out of work. Statewide, unemployment is closing in on 8 percent.

"You know, that's very true, and we've obviously considered that," said Eva Spero with NC Coastal Pines Girl Scouts. "But in hard economic times, people tend to go to things that make them feel good, make them feel comfortable. And that's what Girl Scout cookies do."

Brooks says she has a system though.

"We do booths which are in front of stores, and I do a lot of those," she said. "And there are a lot of people who are always there, so you get more sold."

The scouts are counting on girls like Brooks to keep the cookie dough rolling in, if cash strapped consumers find room in their budgets for a box or two.

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