The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Strangers step up for Girl Scout troop

While police investigate who stole items for a garage sale, Good Samaritans donate more than $1,750 for a planned trip.

MARYSVILLE -- The kindness of strangers has been a bit overwhelming for Marysville Girl Scout Troop 42047.
A burglary at a downtown Marysville business two weeks ago cleaned the tight-knit troop out of the most valuable items they'd collected for a June garage sale. The goods had been amassed to help pay for a 2014 trip to England and France.
Donations have poured in from across the Puget Sound region since word of their break-in was reported in the media.
"It was crazy," troop member Chloe Starkenburg, 13, said. "I thought we would get like one or two donations."
The troop has received more than $1,750 from roughly 20 people. That will more than pay for keeping its wares in a locked storage building.
The scouts also have been given high-quality items to sell at the garage sale.
Equally important have been heart-felt messages of encouragement.
"It's really humbling and kind of amazing how the community really wants to reach out and help," troop member Shannon Davidson, 14, said.
The outpouring of support has reinforced the resolve of the teens who are accustomed to being the ones helping. They volunteer at senior centers, have worked on stream restoration projects and gather donations for food banks.
Joel Brown, a military veteran and Boeing worker from Everett, donated $500 to the troop after reading a story in The Daily Herald about the burglary.
Over the years, he has found himself buying more Girl Scout cookies than he could eat largely because the girls always were polite and well mannered.
"To me, it's just very refreshing," he said.
Detectives are continuing to investigate the break-in at the business where the Girl Scouts were storing their donations. The thieves were selective, taking mainly high-end items, such as an Xbox 360, electronic games, tools, brand-name clothing, kitchen appliances and radios. They also broke into a box of Girl Scout cookies.
No arrests have been made, police Cmdr. Robb Lamoureux said.
"This has been more than we could have ever asked for and more than what we ever expected. It has more than put us back on track," troop co-leader Jo Starkenburg said. "Our girls have just been tickled pink by the generosity. It's really nice, especially in today's economy."
Members of the seven-member troop said they are more determined than ever to earn their way to Europe.
"We know for sure we have to work extra hard and we realize how hard it is to get to our goal," Chloe Starkenburg said.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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