Girl Scouts begin cookie sales on Jan. 26

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- For six weeks each year, Girl Scouts in Arizona participate in the largest girl-led business: the Girl Scout Cookie Program.

From Jan. 26 to March 8, more than 17,000 girls in central and northern Arizona will be walking around neighborhoods with delicious cookies in hand and boothing in front of local stores.

Girls participate in the cookie program because it's fun and it teaches important life skills needed to become a responsible woman. These skills include goal setting, people skills, money management and how to give back to the community.

These are essential values to successfully navigate life - whether working on a high-school science project team, running a household, or being a project manager or a company CEO.

The cookie program also focuses on giving back. The Gift of Caring program allows customers to purchase cookies and donate them to community partners serving those in need. This program allows girls to learn about serving their community and social responsibility. Recipients of donated cookies include: St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, St. Vincent de Paul and USO Arizona.

Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council sold 3.2 million packages of cookies last year. This year's goal is 3.4 million packages.

All proceeds from Girl Scout Cookie Program are used to support Girl Scout programming in Arizona.

Use the Girl Scout Cookie Finder to find a cookie booth near you. It's simple - just enter your zip code. You can go to www.girlscoutcookies.org, and install this free Girl Scout Cookie Finder app on your mobile device from Google Play or the Apple store.

Be sure to get social. Tag any and all of your Girl Scout Cookie finds in photos and posts with #CookieBoss and/or #GirlScoutsAZ!