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Service Project How To's
Specific Projects for Leaders and Troops
, or Donation Ideas
We have girls collecting:
"Girl Scouts Give" donations for "summer pack" foster care packs.
We know the food pantry has been low for months and summer is traditionally a time when their stocks are even lower.
(Help your girls) track their service hours.
Teach them and once they are in 6th grade maybe they'll be able to track their own their leadership hours.
Some leaders "bank" hours while troops are working on their Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards, just in case. Hours not used for a patch, pin or award, can be applied toward council's Isadora Inchworm
for all levels. Click here for Isadora Inchworm flyer
For Community Service the "community" does not need to be in your neighborhood
although it can be. Community
service projects can serve almost any community
- online: for example, distributed
proofreading (originally conceived to assist Project Gutenberg), or recording
- in your neighborhood: animal shelters, day care centers, schools, raising awareness for virtually any
issue, work for your GS council (for Bronze or Silver but not Gold), starting a club & teaching skills at school,
- around the world: for example, sewing quilts for overseas military, gathering supplies for a school
(anywhere) or building or stocking a library or preschool (anywhere: a local
community, a flooded school in the USA, or anywhere in the world).
One of my issues with service is making sure it is needed. I don't believe in
knitting 29 hats & then finding who would "take them". I believe in finding out
what is needed and figuring out if (or how) you can supply them.
Although it may sometimes seem that "all the good ideas are taken", not *every* community service
option has been "done already" in any area:
- GS can work a charitable event but can not be involved in directly raising
money (no taking pledges for a walk-a-thon, selling something specific for the cause like a bake sale for ______ Cause, or selling tickets for a
cause). Girls can hand out water at a walk-a-thon, help set or clean up,hand out information packets, serve food, etc.
- animal shelters in your area may need fences painted, or a supply drive, or things sewn (fleece blankets, play toys), even if your girls are too young to volunteer with the animals
- food pantry(ies) can usually use food drives - or recipes based on the kind of
supplies they have;
- often Girl Scout & Cub Scouts in the area need troop helpers and
- are storm drains are labeled; fire hydrants are brightly painted;
- are there are enough hiking trails, all well-groomed, at least one trail has
plants labeled, at least one for special needs? are all the parks all in great
shape & need no places weeded or fences painted?
- can your troop run a mother/daughter event, a
father/daughter event a community encampment, and winter camping;
- run drive for old, unused cell phones or eyeglasses or toner cartridges laying about;
- get old sports equipment back in use instead of gathering dust in garages;
- do all your neighborhoods shut-ins and elderly get enough food and visits & their errands run;
- can you help parents of special needs kids get the support they need (whether with errand
running or "babysitting),
- the folks in town with hand issues may need help addressing their holiday cards;
- do all gently used in-style suits and prom gowns find new homes before they go
out of style - for proms or people re-entering the work force?
- can you help other students get the tutoring they need?
- are all old computers & bicycles are refurbished & finding new homes - or disposed of safely?
- do all foster kids get gifts as needed, have bags when they are picked up, and do foster kids who turned 18 get something
on Valentine's Day?
- are all the pink yougurt lids in the fall turned in to raise money for
fighting cancer & all the aluminum soda/pop kids are recycled?
- does each school has enough after school clubs and high quality summer programs...
- are there are classes for computer-phobic;
- can you help some non-profit organization build a beautiful, useful website (or face book page or
blog) or all 3?
- are old T-shirts are cleaned and made into "yarn" for craft projects instead of
filling the landfill;
- everyone is aware of allergies, date rape, asthma, bullying, diabetes, can recognize stoke, ...
- there are sufficient events like a "first aid meet" or a "orientation challenge"
for the community; (I know at least one community that runs has a senior citizen
- there is a local museum (online & IRL) that might need help?
- everyone is read to enough (whether senior citizens, preschoolers, the blind, or other special needs).
- GS Brownie Leaders, please let us know if you are interested in having GS Cadettes help with the Journey. Any GS Cadettes interested in earning their LIA with GS Brownies, please let us know so we can help make a match.
- Here's a simple program all GS can do... pick a base and start collecting! Overseas Coupon Program: This program serves military families by assisting you to forward "manufacturer's coupons" to overseas military bases.
These bundles of coupons are placed on tables, at the PX and Commissary, or handed out for use by military members and families on base. This helps the family save valuable dollars and stretch their budget.
Not a tax deductible charity.
You are supporting the service person and their family by sending coupons that you do not use, and all of the extra ones that you can find, to them.
For information on the program, click on Operation Coupon.
Please read the information in the links on the left side of the page before beginning: What's New, Who Should Join, Base Adoptions, Participation, Mailing Coupons, Return Receipt, Reporting, and Hints
- December/January Ideas:
- Don't throw away your cards when you're cleaning up the holiday decorations. Send the fronts to Diane and she'll make cards for next year's Operation Quiet Comfort holiday shipment. Send them to: Diane Schneider, 6305 Cape Charles Drive, Raleigh NC 27617 . Operation Quiet Comfort puts these cards in the holiday comfort bags that are shipped to our military hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Want to recycle your old energy-inefficient stringed holiday lights? Will Parsippany accept them? HolidayLED will.
- Homeless Solutions needs YOU: Girl Scouts can help provide real service in their community through volunteering at Homeless Solutions located at 540 West Hanover Ave. in Morristown. Are you looking for a service project? Leadership hours? Maybe just a great experience for your girls?
To discuss what opportunities are available for your girls for the coming year, contact Tamala Renolds, volunteer coordinator at HSI, at 973-993-0833.
- If you or your girls want to support our troops, like to sew, or want to learn, consider Operation Quiet Comfort. Learn more at their group offsite.
- GSUSA News – Environmental challenge: cancel catalogs you don’t want & save some trees. Some
troops have turned this into a service project, canceling catalogs for others
Catalogue Canceling Challenge: Want to save trees, water, energy, and our climate? GSUSA invites Girl Scouts to take action with The Catalog Canceling Challenge and cancel as many unwanted catalogs as they can in thirty days.
The Damage: Each year 19 billion catalogs are mailed to American consumers. 95% of them are unwanted. 53 million trees (enough to forest 2,000 Central Parks) are used making these catalogs. The 7.2 billion pounds of paper requires 38 trillion BTUs to produce (enough energy to power 1.2 million homes a year). Catalog production uses 53 billion gallons of water (81,000 Olympic sized swimming pools) and creates 10.4 billion pounds of carbon dioxide (equivalent to the emissions of 2 million cars), contributing to global warming and climate change.
Stopping the Damage: The Catalog Canceling Challenge was developed by a 4th Grade class at The Park School in Brookline, MA. Now students all around the country are canceling as many unwanted catalog mailings as they can. Girls from Troop 315 (Iron River, Michigan) have also joined the Challenge and saved one and half trees by canceling 150 catalogs in two hours.
Girl Scouts can help the environment and work towards earning awards. For more information on how to get started, click.
- Annually, about April 12th: Spread the Bread, a global grassroots "community" bread-giving organization that encourages people, especially our youth, to bake any kind of bread and spread that bread to honor our heroes and to help those in need, has created a patch program for Girl Scouts. (Off-site links) Click here for flyer.
- Every May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month:
Girl Scouts can get involved by learning how asthma is impacting their community.
Girls can earn the Asthma Awareness Patch.
By participating in the required activities, girls can reach out to their communities and help increase asthma awareness.
Girls can participate in the program with their troop, group or at Girl Scout summer camp.
You can download the Asthma Awareness Program workbook, in English or Spanish, at Girl Scouts.org.
For our Service Unit:
- Organize a team for the walk-a-thon during EcoTrek. (Council will no longer be doing the 1,000 Woman Hike in May, at least not in 2009).
- Create one/some generic newsletter for leaders to use, or have your girls write one. Collect council and town news to create a base and each leader could just add their own meeting dates & any special troop news. It gets password protected on the website for other leaders to find! Contact Robin to sign-up. View the February sample newsletter, ready for individual troop titles & meeting dates to be added.
- Run a mixer for 6th grade Girl Scouts entering middle school, or have your girls do it.
- Be a parade coordinator - or organize making a float. There are lots of parades nearby, not just the Memorial Day parade.
The St. Patrick's Day parade in Morristown usually gets good weather.
- Volunteer your troop to run a community encampment (or a station at the encampment). Contact Mary Ann.
- Service and Leadership Opportunities for girls and adults: Plan or help deliver council program events. Project listed in the LINK include: camp clean-ups, CONNECT I for Cadettes, and CONNECT II for Seniors/Ambassadors.
- High school Girl Scouts needed to contribute to a council e-newsletter.
- If your troop is not doing it, donate old phones, laser and ink cartridges for recycling. Council donations will help to fund GSNNJ’s four camp properties and outdoor programs. Click here for flyer.
- Keep our Camps Looking Good dates for Jockey Hollow, Lake Rickabear, and our camps in Glen Spey!
For information about each camps' needs, see LINK at www.gsnnj.org. Use the Registration Form at the end of the book to sign up. Some request a $25 check which will be refunded if you attend (probably the check will be returned un-cashed?).
- Help at GSNNJ Camps now through May, for girls in grades 7th - 12th.
Habitat for Humanity is always collecting coffee cans.
New Jersey Tree Foundation : Apply for free trees to plant on public land and maintain for at least two years. Click here for flyer.
Service Project to help Mexican Orphanage
On Brenda’s 2008 trip to Our Cabaña, her service project was at a nearby orphanage. The orphanage houses 100 girls in one room at the main complex. There is no money for linens (sheets or towels). There is limited plumbing and virtually no water. They are using the gardening hose now for showers. The roof leaks but there is no money for repairs. The UK contingent is raising money to do a "BandAid" repair. Brenda is collecting donations for mattresses, sheets and towels.
A retired Canadian military friend runs the Girl Scout troop out of the orphanage. She needs funds to help these girls participate in the programs at the Cabana. There is also a need for "cloth Babies" to be made. This program, similar to one we do in our high schools, teaches the girls about premature pregnancy which is a huge problem.
If a troop would like instructions on making these babies, please contact Brenda or instructions will be posted here.
She is also soliciting funds for supplies needed at the orphanage and donations for the scholarship fund to help some of these girls participate at the Cabana program. The funds will go to a secure location in Texas and then sent to Harriet Edmond via courier.
For the youngest:
Many of these can be done in your meeting place.
- Participate in any collection drives the other scouts in school are doing,
- Send pictures or “Flat Stanley” folk to the troops/servicepeople,
- Make pictures to be distributed by Color-A-Smile,
- Make placemats, napkin rings, etc. for a nursing home or care facility or go sing there or adopt-a-grandparent.
- Plant something outside the school or in a park
- Collect litter.
How can my troop help?
Have the girls discuss what is needed in the community (or what they think may be needed) and how/where they want to help. By the end of Juniors when they are working on their Bronze Award, they should be calling organizations to ensure that they are filling a real need.
They may want to do a collection (for eyeglasses (to donate to the Owls or an eyeglass center), clothes (although that can take up a bit of space), food, pet supplies, etc.) You can collect from your own troop, organize a school-wide drive, or incorporate a drive with any event you have. For example, “Come roller skating and bring a can of food”.
How do we organize a school-wide drive?
Where can we donate food?
- Come up with the idea,
- have the girls create a draft flyer (or brainstorm with you about what should be on the flyer, even the youngest can be led to realize that dates, place and what/why to collect should be on a flyer),
- [have the girls] approach the principal with their draft flyer and some idea of the dates you are interested in.
- See if the school will copy and distribute the flyer or if you need to make copies. A good example is troop 2230’s recent Coat Drive flyer, just change MAGSC to GSNNJ.
- The principal should let you know if district approval is needed.
- Parsippany Food Pantry (call them first and they may be able to arrange a tour of the facility),
- Interfaith Food Pantry
What more can we do?
Make favors or placemats for nursing home trays, not just for the big holidays. Teach songs to another troop. Invite them to earn a try-it or badge with you. Work up to running a try-it or badge workshop. Create your own badge or IPA. Organize troops in your school for a Court of Awards, bridging ceremony, or song fest. Encourage your girls' interests to find ways to serve a community - inside and out of Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts can not raise cash or ask for money for other organizations.
Girl Scouts can give money to organizations they select - not just Girl Scout organizations.
"Girl Scouts are not allowed, when identifying ourselves as Girl Scouts (such as wearing a uniform, a sash or vest, official pins, and so on), to solicit money on behalf of another organization. This includes participating in a walkathon or telethon while in uniform. You and your group can, however, support another organization through take-action projects or by making a donation from your group’s account. And Girl Scouts as individuals are able to participate in whatever events they choose, so long as they’re not wearing anything that officially identifies them as “Girl Scouts."
(From GSUSA's Volunteer Essentials 2009)
The Juliette Low Birthplace Circle of Friends invites GS troops to join in the support of the care and restoration of our Founder's birthplace. Girl Scout troops can join for $1 per person with a minimum of $10 per troop. Circle of Friends patches are available to all GS troop members whose troop has joined the JL Birthplace Circle of Friends. The 3" patches are $3 each plus $2 shipping and handling per order. Proceeds from the patch sales goes to the Birthplace endowment fund. Troops also receive a Certificate of Membership in the Circle of Friends.
Send your name, address, phone #, donation (min. $10), payment for patches (plus $2 S & H per order) to Juliette Low Birthplace, 10 East Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah, GA 31401.
Questions? Call 912-233-4501
Juliette Low World Friendship Fund :
"To honor Juliette Gordon Low’s love of travel, of experiencing different cultures, and of making friends, Girl Scouts created the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund in 1927. Today, this fund supports girls’ international travel, participation in adult learning, and attendance at other international events—any event that fosters global friendships that connect Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from 145 nations. Visit www.girlscouts.org/juliette_low_fund.asp to find out more or donate to the fund! "
From Volunteer Essentials, GSUSA, 2009.
Website design provided by Eileen Michie
Girls are collecting
summer foster care pack donations,
. We expect to be collecting "those" pink yogurt lids & COATS in the fall.
The Parsippany Emergency Food Pantry is located at the Parsippany Community Center at 1130 Knoll Road, and is open Monday through Friday from 9am – 5pm. All residents in need of supplemental food are invited to call ahead (973) 263-7163 or (973) 263-7351/52. Ready-made bags of basic food staples such as canned goods, cereal and dried food, are available through donations from individuals, schools, scouts and churches.