PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There were songs and plenty of smiles at Children’s Hospital over the weekend.
Girl Scouts invaded the lobby, and they brought a massive amount of cookies.
“It makes me feel like I’m Santa and it’s another Christmas,” 8-year-old Emily Milliron Ruggieri said.
Emily organized the entire event, mostly because of her late father Ethan Milliron.
He battled cancer in his teens and underwent treatment at Children’s Hospital. He passed away in 2009, when he was just 24.
“We would always buy cookies before we would be admitted for chemo but nine times out of 10, we would run out of those cookies prior to be released from chemo,” said Emily’s mother Suzanne Ruggieri.
The cookie operation has grown in the past few years.
“When I first started, I just wanted to make sick kids and my daddy happy, but now I actually have a team,” Emily said.
That team is made up of Girl Scouts from all over the area. They work to make the event bigger and better each year.
In total, they’ve collected about 6,600 boxes just this year, and those donations have come from all 50 states, as well as 34 other foreign countries.
This was the third year Emily and her friends have collected and donated cookies to the hospital and they have no plans of slowing down.
“It is such a rewarding thing and it can be so touching to see that any girl, any boy, any kid at any age can bring a smile to someone else’s face with something so little, just a gesture,” Suzanne said.
Emily told KDKA she hopes to keep expanding her operation.
“My goal for this, is I hope to spread the cookies to children’s hospitals all over the world, ” she said.