Generous Girl Scout restores cache of lost cookies

Clyde Charbonneau lost most of his possessions and his home in a wildfire near Mountain Home last summer. The fire also consumed his stockpile of Girl Scout cookies. Charbonneau is an avid supporter of the annual Girl Scout cookie fundraising campaign and regularly invests in the sweet treats. He did so again this year, before the wildfire swept over his home along with five others and more than a dozen buildings.

Co-workers helped him regain his footing and adapt to another home. But Clyde never had a chance to enjoy the array of cookies that were consumed in the blaze.

That’s when Kiele Newton-Sittser, a teenage entrepreneur and decorated cookie peddler, stepped to the forefront. She refused to take Clyde’s loss sitting down.

The 15-year-old Girl Scout appealed to friends, family members and the Silver Sage Girl Scouts Council, asking for help. She asked for cookie donations to replenish Clyde’s lost supply. The response was immediate and generous. She rounded up nearly a dozen boxes of assorted cookies, put them in a bin and penned a short poem for Charbonneau.

She delivered the cookies to his ITD office on Oct. 12.

Her written message said:

I heard your cookies went up in smoke.
I wanted to replace them and it was no joke.
So I had a big task 'cause Girl Scout cookies are like gold!
I called up Council and all my family & friends young & old.
I told them you were my #1 customer,
And I couldn't leave you so sad . . .
I needed them to donate all the cookies they had.
So here's a new stash to get you through until next cookie season Yahoo!!!
Now you have cookies but you will have to provide your own beverage,
As I couldn't get that donated, as I had no leverage.
Enjoy cookie time.

-- Kiele, Silver Sage Council & a bunch of my friends

Clyde, who works in the DMV’s Internal Control Fraud unit, was caught by surprise when Kiele presented the replacement cookies. The accompanying message was creative and humorous, he admitted. He has been buying 13-15 boxes of cookies for several years and already is working through his second box of the replenished supply.

He isn’t the only one to benefit from Kiele’s generous spirit. When the cookie sales campaign began last summer, she made a YouTube video to promote cookie sales for the American Red Cross.

She and two friends also organized school anti-bullying day camps in Boise and Caldwell to discourage school bullying, earning a silver award in Girl Scouts for her efforts. She knits and distributes hats to children undergoing cancer treatment at the Mountain States Tumor Institute and assists with the children’s Christmas party at ITD’s Headquarters.

Last summer she opened her own business, Kiwi’s Place, an open-air market where she sold hair accessories, tutus and fairy wings for children.

Achieving the “Stellar Seller” level as one of the top cookie sellers in Idaho, she was among several Girl Scouts featured on promotional billboards in the Treasure Valley. Kiele, a sophomore at Borah High School, is the granddaughter of ITD’s Levi Sittser, who works in the ITD’s Division of Motor Vehicles – Vehicle Services unit.

Published 10-26-2012