Meet Stormi, a 9-year-old Girl Scout living in Herrin, Illinois. She loves hiking, camping, and playing tag with her new friends in the Girl Scouts.
Stormi decided to join the Girl Scouts last fall, Stormi's foster mom, Kim, told BuzzFeed News.
Stormi was put into foster care and placed with Kim three years ago through an emergency placement plan. She told Kim she wanted to donate cookies to other kids in foster care.
"I like to sell cookies because it's very nice to sell cookies," Stormi told BuzzFeed News. She said the cookies "make people smile."
Kim and Stormi asked to be identified only by their first names to protect their safety.
The two ventured out into their neighborhood one Thursday in January after school. It was just months after a Colorado troop received backlash when a trans girl joined the group. But Kim had faith there wouldn't be an issue.
Stormi had sold 60 boxes and 15 more that day by knocking on doors.
Stormi knocked on one door three blocks from their home. A man opened the door. After Stormi made her pitch for cookies, he said, "Nobody wants to buy cookies from a boy in a dress."
"It made me sad," Stormi told BuzzFeed News. "Because I'm a girl."
She immediately wanted to go home, said Kim. She cried when she got home.
"She was like, 'Why am I not good enough?'" said Kim. "We just started talking and she decided she wasn't going to let him win."
Kim moved all of Stormi's cookie sales on Sunday, Jan. 24 to an online portal through the Girl Scouts called Digital Cookies.
Kim shared the story and website in an online forum for parents of transgender kids. Soon the story and website were shared and reposted across social media.
She received dozens of letters of support. Elizabeth S. Leet, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Virginia, wrote, "Stormi is so brave and wonderful for standing up for herself and choosing to live as the person she's always been!"
"This is something I have been trying to instill in her for years," Kim said. "How worthy she is; who she is is OK. For her to be able to read all these messages that people are sending from around the world to support her, the love is just overwhelming."
Two New York-based improv performers even offered attendees free admission to their Jan. 29 show with any proof of purchase for Stormi's cookies when they heard about her story.
By Thursday, Stormi had sold over 3,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. She received cookie sales from places as far as Canada and Australia, said Kim.
"It's just been amazing," said Kim. "I have not seen Stormi like this in a really long time. It makes me cry because this is something she'll never forget."
Stormi now plans to donate cookies to foster kids every year.
"I want kids like me to know they are perfect just the way they are," said Stormi. "There are people all over the world that love you. Never give up because it does get better."
Stormi's project to sell cookies for foster kids ended Jan. 30, but the online store is open for direct shipments until mid-March.
Leticia Miranda is a consumer affairs reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Leticia Miranda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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