Today our girl scout troop did our big yearly service project, 100 random acts of kindness for our community. We took girl scout cookies to the police, fire, and rescue personnel, visited the assisted living facility, left money taped to drink machines, baggies of detergent at the laundomat, passed out cold bottes of water at the walking track, and lots more!! It was a great day knowing we were just doing good deeds expecting nothing in return, and the girls loved doing it. That's "making the world a better place", part of the philosophy behind Girl Scouts. GS is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year! 100 years ago, Juliette Gordon Low wanted to give back to the girls of her community. She started with 16 girls, and a century later its still going strong. She lived about 10 years or so after she organized GS in the US, so she saw some of the impact it made, but I think even she would be surprised at how much a part of our lives GS still is. So many successful women were a girl scout growing up. It really does teach girls to become leaders and not be afraid to push yourself. It also forms precious bonds between its members, and girl scouts really do live up to the part of the GS law "be a sister to every girl scout".
I met one of my very best friends a few years ago through GS. My youngest daughter wanted to join, and I volunteered to help with a troop if needed. The council put me in touch with K, who needed a co-leader for her new troop. From the moment we met, we really hit it off. Same sense of humor, same visions for the troop, similar morals and values, I couldn't have special ordered a better friend if I had tried! And as our troop grew, we added another co-leader, C,who is now a very dear friend to me also. She is also in the adoption process (upcycledpurpose.blogspot.com).
Well, to continue the story from today, (yes I am eventually making a point of all this, bear with me!), we split up into several groups and hit different areas of the county. My group was the last to arrive back at our meeting place (no surprise there), and all the moms were still there. We stood talking for a minute, and then one of the moms said "I just counted and we have only done 99 RAKs, we need to do one more". I was slightly confused, because K had everything organized on this, down to the last detail. Hw did we miss one? Then they asked if I would help with it. Of course. I went over to her car to help, and they started pulling boxes of food out of the car. They told me to hold one, so I did. Then they took the rest of the groceries and started loading it in my car. The 100th good deed was for me! I had mentioned one day that I hadn't bought groceries since we committed to Sam, as it was taking almost every penny. K listened, and told the others. They just wanted to help, even though the troop had already given us a generous donation for Sam. They also handed me money for milk and other cold stuff. I cried, of course, and K even got a pic of the girls all giving me the best hugs. I've said so many times that we have the best moms and girls in our troop, and they continually outdo themselves. I am so blessed. This is what Girl Scouts is all about. Taking the initiative to make something better, to take care of each other. Girl Scouts make special women, but special women also make Girl Scouts what it is.
I even realized tonight that we wouldn't have found Sam if not for Girl Scouts!! It was our co-leader C who sent me the link about him. I wonder if Sam will consider being an honorary Girl Scout? Lol.
So when you see some cute little uniformed girls selling cookies, remember that by helping them, you are helping yourself and your community. And there are lots of ways to help, other than buying cookies. Troops always need financial help, of course, as they depend solely on donations and fundraising to finance their budget. But they need other things too: volunteers, whether its for a year or one night. What's your talent? Your passion? Whatever it is, there's a badge for it. I can guarantee it. And the girls would love someone to show them how. Contact your local troop, and if you don't know where one is, google girl scout council office for your town, and call them. They will help you find a troop. Troops need everything, from snacks/napkins/drinks to art and craft supplies, office supplies (you wouldn't BELIEVE the amount of paperwork troop leaders have to do! K does ours and is a saint for keeping up with the forms for EVERYTHING, and making sure nothing gets left out.)
Girl Scouts is worth it. Every penny, every second of time. We're finding some incredible girls in GS. And they will be even more incredible, and unstoppable women one day! I can't thank my GS family enough for what they have done for me. The support from them is overwhelming. They really are family to me.