Girl Scouts take matters into their own hands
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Posted by: Josie Duckett Boyd
Still collecting donations for communities hard hit by Irene
By Melanie Lekocevic
Published: Thursday, September 15, 2011 2:10 AM EDT
GREENVILLE – With mind boggling destruction in some areas of Greene County the result of Tropical Storm Irene, and many of those communities still struggling to bounce back, Girl Scouts in Greenville decided to take matters into the own hands to help their neighbors and fellow Girl Scouts in their time of need.
From August 30 to September 2, Scouts collected everything from food to bedding to cleaning supplies and more to help their mountaintop neighbors who were hit so hard by the storm, and then they loaded up trucks to rush the donations to the shelters.
And with the initial shock of the damage now waning, Scouts are not done yet – they plan to continue their collection effort over the coming weeks.
They are even looking to coordinate a Girl Scouts Helping Girl Scouts program, with Greenville Troop Leader Kelly Fagan working with a Scout leader in Schoharie County to kick it off.
Fagan said they have already begun collecting school supplies and backpacks for kids in affected communities.
"The girls called the shelters for daily reports of what was needed and put a call out for those items,” Fagan said. "They even got a breast pump and feeding items for infants. I made sure our girls had the opportunity to lead and learn from this experience and they did a fabulous job.”
For many of the girls, they mobilized their efforts and took action even before electricity was restored to their own homes.
In fact, within 36 hours of the storm passing through Greenville, the planning had already begun.
"The drive was led by girls, coordinated by part of the team of Girl Scouts who will represent GSNENY at the Girl Scout Leadership Institute in Houston in November, and involved Girl Scouts of every age level working together,” Fagan said.
All told, an army of more than 45 Scouts and their families pulled together over a three-day period to collect items, sort and pack them, and then load and deliver over 185 boxes to communities in need.
They collected everything from food to toiletries, bedding, kitchen supplies, water, baby items, shoes, boots and clothing, filling two trucks to the brim.
One truck went to the Windham command center, and the other went to a Prattsville shelter, two of the communities hardest hit by Tropical Storm Irene.
And with the new school year just around the corner, the girls also collected a truck full of school supplies as well as over $180 in gift cards they will also pass along to those in need.
"We are continuing our efforts this week and in the weeks to come as we support our neighboring communities and the Girl Scouts who live there,” Fagan said. "We will continue to collect school and cleaning supplies in our drop boxes and will assess the needs of each area to determine where our efforts will help the most.”
The Scouts sent out a big round of thanks to businesses that helped in their efforts, including Big Top Tent Rental, Community Action, the Greenville Library, GU Family Markets, Family Dollar, Just-A-Buck and Stanton’s Farm, along with the people of Greenville who donated thousands of items.
Drop boxes for cleaning and school supplies are still located in places around the town, such as the library and the middle school office, along with several local businesses, and Scouts will soon be sending those donations to communities in need.
If you would like more information about their collection efforts, email firstname.lastname@example.org.