Riley Padget-Cook, 11, of Minneapolis, Kansas, a member of Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland and a fifth-grader at Bennington Elementary School, started a business selling containers of a gooey toy substance known as “slime” to raise money for disaster relief, cancer awareness, hospital wagons and several other causes. When her grandfather traveled to Florida in 2017 to help restore electricity after Hurricane Irma, Riley became aware of the many needs of families affected by the storm. “I wanted to help,” she said, “so I came up with my slime business and used the money earned to donate for disaster relief.”
With encouragement and help from her grandmother, Riley shopped for supplies and began making slime. After a lot of trial and error and feedback from customers, she improved her product, designed a container label and started marketing through promotional videos and her grandma’s Facebook page. It quickly became so popular that Riley invited her best friend to join the business, which they called the “R&J Slime Company.” They sought permission to sell their slime at school events, and broadened their product line to include a variety of colors, flavors and sizes. Since September 2017, Riley’s business generated nearly $1,700. Riley sent two-thirds to disaster victims in Florida and used the rest for a variety of good causes, including promoting awareness of childhood cancer, buying three collapsible wagons for cancer patients, assisting a single mother with four children, contributing to her school’s eighth grade class trip to Washington, D.C., and supporting a Girl Scout troop in Wisconsin that lost three members and a volunteer in a hit-and-run accident.