In order to earn the philanthropy badge, girls in the Green Bank Girl Scout troop decided to spread a little Christmas cheer with a toy drive.
“They wanted to do a community service project and it was to do toy donations for the Children’s Home Society in Lewisburg,” Troop leader Susan Ray said. “The girls wanted to help kids who would not otherwise have smiles at Christmas to have big smiles.”
The girls decorated a collection box and placed it at the front entrance of Green Bank Elementary-Middle School for a month. To ensure they would get lots of donations, the girls made a special message to send to parents.
“[Principal Ricky Sharp] has been very supportive,” Ray said. “He actually let us put out a Phone Messenger message to all the Green Bank parents. Our girls got to record their own message. It was their voices.”
The response was overwhelming. The toys spilled out of the box and into the space surrounding it. Students responded well to the call for donations and one class even donated instead of buying gifts for each other.
“I can’t believe how much we actually got with this being our first year,” Ray said. “ I foresee our girls wanting to do projects like this more often. They were very excited. Everything’s been coordinated by them from the beginning. Girls Scouts is mostly girl-led and our girls have gained a lot of independence through this project. They’ve learned a lot.”
The troop is small – with six brownies and one junior – but their impact is great. With the help of leaders Ray, Rita Fortney and Kelly Warner, the girls are excited to come up with new ways to help the community and surrounding areas.
The toys the troop collected were picked up and delivered by Children’s Home Society Permanency Social Worker Amanda Thomas.
The Children’s Home Society in Lewisburg is accepting applications from potential foster parents. Those interested may contact the organization at 1-800-335-3430 or 304-647-3430. The address is 9579 Seneca Trail South, Lewisburg, WV 24901.