On the morning of Feb. 20, Logan Deike, 6, and her mother, Ryan Deike, set out to Gene Leahy Mall in downtown Omaha with boxes of Girl Scout cookies, cartons of milk and a plan to help others.
Ryan said someone had purchased five boxes of cookies from Logan, who is a member of Daisy Girl Scout Troop 43014. However, the buyer did not want to keep the cookies, and instead asked Logan to do something good with them for Random Acts of Kindness Week, which was Feb. 14-20.
“I took it as an opportunity to teach Logan about helping those who are less fortunate than us,” Ryan said, “and about being grateful for the things she has and having compassion for the people who don’t have everything that we do.”
Logan handed out three boxes of cookies and milk to homeless men downtown and one to a construction crew working on a sidewalk downtown. She gave the last one to the firefighters at Omaha Fire Station No. 43, 5505 N. 103rd St. She said she enjoyed the experience.
“It felt good,” she said. “I got to help people.”
In addition to handing out the cookies, Ryan and Logan also picked up litter in their neighborhood and put together gift baskets to donate to a silent auction benefit.
Ryan, an art teacher for R.M. Marrs Magnet Middle School, said though she and her students do projects to help the area homeless, it was a new experience for her daughter.
“While we were passing out the cookies, she had a lot of questions. She wanted to know why they were sleeping on the street,” Ryan said. “We talked about it and she started to get it. … That really affected her. Later on when we were driving down Dodge Street, there was a homeless man holding a sign that said he was hungry. And she wanted to give him Girl Scout cookies too, but we didn’t have any left in the car. She now is more aware of what homelessness is.”