Results tagged “Community Service” from GSSA Leader Blog: The Virtual Volunteer

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Girls can do anything!   Each year we have a group of girls that are highly accomplished and do amazing things.   It is wonderful to see them grow over the years and watch them give back to their community through their award projects.   We have a great group of girls that provide all types of community service through their awards.

A large number of Junior troops earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award during the past year, and many more are currently working on projects in their communities. Here are a few examples from across the council:

  • ·         Daphne Troop 8186 is working on a permanent geocache course at Camp Scoutshire Woods for other girls to enjoy.
  • ·         Troop 9349 from Enterprise helped the local animal shelter by painting some of the rooms and collecting needed items.
  • ·         Troop 9261 in Ozark created an outdoor education garden at their school that included upcycling milk jugs into automatic watering containers, painting stepping stones, and leading a group of more than 50 students to plant a variety of plants.
  • ·         Loxley Troop 8393 volunteered and collected items for a horse rescue shelter.

The Girl Scout Silver Award is earned by Cadettes and is a stepping stone for the Gold Award. Here are a few of our excellent projects from this past year:

  • ·         Troop 9750 from Dothan recycled plastic grocery bags to make plastic yarn, which they crocheted to make sleeping mats for the homeless.
  • ·         Troop 7309 worked with a low-income daycare in Auburn to improve the facilities and provide additional resources and activities for the children to enjoy.
  • ·         A member of troop 9157 in Prattville sewed more than 70 colorful pillowcases to comfort children in an orphanage in Bulgaria.
  • ·         Satsuma Troop 8517 created a "Read Across America" curriculum for their middle school library. They identified and compiled a list of books from all 50 states to encourage students to read.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award in Girl Scouting, and is only open to Seniors and Ambassadors. Here are two of our recent Gold Awards:  

  • ·         Rebecca Pober from Daphne produced, directed, edited and screened a professional documentary on domestic human trafficking, which can be seen on the website she created: againsthumantrafficking.com. In order to create her documentary, she made contacts, fundraised, conducted on and off-camera interviews.  Afterwards, she has given and continues to give presentations to highlight this issue.
  • ·         Amerie Gramelspacher's topic for her Girl Scout Gold Award was suicide awareness and prevention. She spoke at churches and events, conducted a suicide awareness and prevention 5K, purchased a curriculum for the health classes at her school, and purchased signs for the middle and high schools. Throughout the project, she partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Thanks to Amerie's efforts, the elementary, middle, and high school teachers in Thomasville now receive annual suicide prevention and awareness training hosted by the AFSP.

Rebecca and Amerie have been nominated by our council for the National Young Women of Distinction (NYWOD) award, given by GSUSA to 10 exceptional Gold Award recipients from across the nation. GSUSA has done some great work to improve the highest awards.   Rather than having the National Young Women of Distinction awarded every three years at the national convention, that will change to annually.   In addition, a benefactor will be providing funding for a $10,000 scholarship for each NYWOD.  Girls who have earned the Gold Award are eligible to be nominated for NYWOD by the Gold Award Committee of GSSA.

As a reminder, GSSA has a group of trained volunteers who work with girls on their Gold Awards.   This committee reviews girls' applications and materials.   Because it is a group of volunteers, we try hard to respect their time, which means paperwork needs to be submitted well in advance of deadlines so the committee has the time they need to conduct their review.   The new working deadlines for 2015-2016 awards are as follows:

Quarterly deadlines for all Gold Award submissions

·         February 1

·         May 1

·         August 1

·         November 1

Graduating Ambassadors

·         February 1 deadline for proposals

·         May 1 deadline for final reports


Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama is fortunate to have a great group of volunteers and girls committed to community service. Last year GSSA girls earned 112 Bronze Awards, 27 Silver Awards, and 6 Gold Awards, representing more than 4000 hours of service in their communities. Girls also earned 44 Service Bars for Community Service and Service to Girl Scouting, representing more than 1,400 hours of service.

During the Fall Product Sale,
Girl Scout Troops of Southern Alabama collected and donated
one pallet, 76 cases, 912 cans of Honey Roasted Nuts,
valued at $4,560
to Operation Troop Aid.  

It's ALL Thanks to You and Your Girls!
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The Refugee Resettlement Program is the branch of Catholic Social Services created to meet the special needs of refugees. The Mobile Catholic Social Services Refugee Resettlement Program is the only refugee resettlement program in all of Alabama. Their goal  is to make the refugee families feel welcome and to ease their transition into this country. They need the help of generous key people and organizations to assist in welcoming our new neighbors. 

Opportunities exist for older Girl Scouts to help with ESL classes. Girl Scout troops of all ages are encouraged to collect needed items for this program. For a complete listing and to volunteer, click here.   
Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama has teamed with Secure the Call to do a unique and worthwhile Forever Green Take Action project. Secure the Call is a volunteer driven non-profit organization which collects old cell phones and reprograms them to use for 911 calls for the elderly and victims of domestic abuse. They are  then distributed in communities through locally based organizations. Last year, Secure the Call  collected over 30,000 unwanted, used cell phones from throughout the United States. These phones were converted to 911 emergency phones and kept out of landfills. Cell phones contain both inert substances and toxic materials which can persist for up to 10,000 years in the environment if not properly discarded. By helping keep these phones out of the trash, Girl Scouts help provide valuable protection to the environment as well as a great service to those who may not otherwise have a way to contact 911 in an emergency.

Troops and individuals may bring used cell phones to the Mobile or Montgomery Service Centers March 1-30. Cell phones will also be collected at "Girl Scouts Rock Mobile!" March 24 during the Eco Fair. 

If you would like to organize a collection for your troop, click here for further information.

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The Mobile County Public School System would like to have Girl Scout troops participate at the upcoming School Board Meetings. Troops are needed to say  a prayer, present the colors, and lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Meetings are held at Central Office at Halls Ferry and Schillinger Roads at 6:00p.m.

If your troop is interested in performing this service, please contact Mary Anne Brutkiewicz (ext. 1202).

Thank you, volunteer Becky G., for sharing this information on how Girl Scouts can help with storm relief:


Averitt will, free of charge, take donated items to their Birmingham location from six cities in Alabama. If anyone has a logistics need in any of the following areas, they are standing by, ready to help. PLEASE, if you need to contact Averitt, do so by calling the toll free number (800-283-1488) so we don't tie up their local lines and interrupt their daily operational flow.
 
Dothan Averitt Service Center
Service Center Director - Alan Jimmerson
Hours of operation 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. M-F
2951 John D. Odom Road
Dothan, Ala. 36303
Directions:
US 231 South: The Service Center is on the left about 1 mile inside the Dothan city limits. Turn left at the traffic light onto John D. Odom Rd. The Service Center is immediately on the left.
US 231 North: Stay on US 231 North, which becomes Ross Clark Circle and loops around the west side of Dothan. Turn right onto John D. Odom Rd. The Service Center is immediately on the left.
From US 84 West: Stay on US 84 West, which becomes Ross Clark Circle and loops around the north side of Dothan. Turn right onto US 231 North. Turn right onto John D. Odom Rd. The Service Center is immediately on the left.
From US 431 South: Take US 84 West, which becomes Ross Clark Circle and loops around the north side of Dothan. Turn right onto US 231 North. Turn right onto John D. Odom Rd. The Service Center is immediately on the left

Mobile Averitt Service Center
Service Center Director- Jeff Spivey
Hours of operation 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. M - F
5945 Rangeline Rd
Theodore, Alabama 36582
Directions:
From I-10: Take Exit 17 A (SR 193 South / Rangeline Rd.) Go south on SR 193. Cross 3 bridges. Turn right onto Rabbit Creek Rd. Turn left onto service road. Averitt is on the right.

Montgomery Averitt Service Center
Service Center Director- Justin Presley
Hours of operation 8am - 6pm M - F
10406 US Highway 80 East
Montgomery, AL 36117
Directions:
From I-85: Take Mitylene Exit 11 (US 80/ Ryans Rd). Go East on US 80 approximately 2 miles. The Serivce Center is located on the right.
From I-65: Take Exit 171 (I-85 North). Take Mitylene Exit 11 (US 80/ Ryans Rd). Go East on US 80 approximately 2 miles. The Service Center is located on the right.

Opelika Averitt Service Center
Service Center Director - Greg Clark
Hours of operation 8am - 4pm M - F
701 W Point Pkwy
Opelika, AL 36801
Directions:
From Montgomery, AL: Take I-85 North. Take Exit 62 (US 280/Columbus Pkwy). Turn left and cross back over I-85. Turn right onto US 431 (Fox Run Pkwy). Go approximately 1.5 miles to US 29 (W Point Pkwy). Turn right on US 29. The Service Center is 1/4 mile on the right.

Dear Friends,

The last two weeks have been challenging for both our state and some of our communities here in southern Alabama.  Many of you have asked for updates about the area around Kamp Kiwanis and want to know how our sister council in North Alabama weathered the storm. You also have been wanting to help.
 
I am happy to report that the power is back on at Kamp Kiwanis and many of the surrounding areas, and the cleanup effort is in full swing.  Kamp Kiwanis has reopened and will available for all of its planned activities in the coming weeks.  The needs in that area are many, but specific things we are asking for include: water, furniture (many of the trailers being brought in to house families are unfurnished), general household items and clothes.  If you would like to contribute to the relief effort, we will collect items at both service centers and make sure they are delivered to those in need in the Eclectic area.
 
Also, Montgomery's Service Unit 914 is conducting a tornado relief drive at the Montgomery Service Center tomorrow (Saturday, May 7) from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.  They will collect non-perishable food items, cleaning items, etc.  

Troop 7238 was already scheduled to host a recycling event at the Opelika Parks and Rec Center on Denson Drive, Sat. May 14 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. as part of the Junior troop's Bronze Award activity. However, they would like to extend the event to also help collect clean, gently used clothes, toiletries, and school supplies to help tornado victims. Any troop who would like to contribute are invited to come and drop off items during that time. These donations will be sent to the Montgomery office. Monica Frazier, Junior Troop leader and Julie Sosebee, Troop Leader

Please support them if you can!
 
Sadly, Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama had significant damage in 31 of their 37 counties.  We understand that one Girl Scout lost her life and countless others have seen their homes destroyed.  However, the council will not know the full impact of the damage until power and communication lines are restored throughout their jurisdiction. You can also visit the North-Central Alabama website for details on what you can do to assist them.

Please join us in keeping those affected by the tornadoes in your thoughts during this difficult time.

Karlyn Edmonds
Chief Operating Officer
Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama

uws-top-logo.pngGirl Scouts of the USA was the first organization to respond to a national initiative connecting potential volunteers with opportunities to serve military families.

The initiative, announced April 12 by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, allows interested adults to volunteer with community-based groups whose services are inclusive of military families at www.serve.gov. From that site, potential volunteers are redirected to opportunities and contact information at a council close to them. Girl Scouts' involvement in the initiative is significant; given the significant deployment of military reserves and the National Guard, every council across the United States and overseas serves military families in some way.

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Following the recent devastation in Japan, the policy that prohibits Girl Scouts from raising money for other organizations has been temporarily suspended. To contribute to earthquake and tsunami relief efforts, you can make an online donation to the newly established Girl Scouts of Japan Relief Efforts.

Thumbnail image for 2011-3-28_elisabeth.jpgA second grade Girl Scout started a blog called 1,000,000 Pennies for Girl Scouts of Japan. Elisabeth (shown right) has decided to start on a journey to try to collect one million pennies, by her birthday in April, to be donated to the Girl Scouts of Japan to aid in their relief efforts. While a million pennies may seem an unreachable goal, half the fun is the journey! Currently, Elisabeth has collected 21,778 pennies! Help her on her way here: penniesforjapangs@yahoo.com.

In Oregon,
50 Girl Scouts in Medford helped fold and link 1,000 paper cranes Saturday night to be sent to Girl Scouts in Japan as a token of friendship. After September 11th, Girl Scouts from Japan sent over strings of 1,000 cranes. In Asian countries the crane is a symbol of happiness, and the act of stringing together exactly 1,000 is a gesture of healing. Fifteen-year-old Girl Scout Cassie P. said it takes about 25 folding steps to make the cranes, but it was well worth it.

We want to know what our Girl Scouts in southern Alabama are doing to help our sister Girl Scouts.  Let us know by commenting here, or e-mail communications@girlscoutssa.org
2011-3shannon.JPGShannon S. is one of our employees you may not have met personally, but you probably have seen her at council events and assumed she was another volunteer troop leader.  While Shannon is a troop leader, she fills that role as a facilitator in our Mobile Housing Board Community grant program.  Shannon works with girls in the Thomas James complex to ensure that they receive the same Girl Scouting experience as the rest of the girls in our council. 

Tuesday night, there was a fire at Thomas James, and Shannon and her family's apartment was destroyed.  We would like to help Shannon and her girls by hosting a clothing drive.  Any clothing you collect can be delivered to either service center, and we will deliver your donations to her.

Shannon wears an Adult 24W or 3X.  Her shoe size is 10.5 to 11.  Her girls wear a Junior 13/14 and 10, and their shoe sizes are 8.5-9 and 4.
 
We know the Girl Scout community will rally to help a truly amazing woman!
LPGA Athlete, Seon Hwa Lee

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The 2011 Avnet LPGA Classic is coming to the Robert Trent Jones Course, Magnolia Grove from April 28 to May 1.  Join the World's Best Women's Professional golfers along with the best fans around and volunteer for The 2011 Avnet LPGA Classic! 

Volunteers, ages 14 and up, are needed to be Standard Bearers.  The Standard Bearer walks 18 holes with a twosome or threesome of players and carries the sign (the standard) with the players names and score.  Volunteers are needed Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 28th - May 1st. 

As a volunteer, you will be admitted free.  You will also receive 2 tickets for your family to enjoy the tournament each day that you work.  In addition, you will receive a T-shirt along with a meal voucher on the days that you volunteer.  You will need to provide your own khaki shorts or pants. Here's the volunteer application for you and your older girls. 
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liz_brent.jpgI've been watching with interest the progression of the Silver Award project Troop 8442 is working on in Fairhope.   They have partnered with Smart Coast to make their community more pedestrian friendly.   The troop has done some research, doing their homework on how to improve the community they reside in, and on Monday evening, February 28, they made a presentation to the city council that passed.   The plan is the city will install signage and enforce laws that protect pedestrians in crosswalks.   Cori Yonge, the troop leader, reports that everyone in the troop has done something to make this change in their community happen.   Isn't it amazing what a group of determined girls can do?   And isn't is inspirational to see these girls exhibit their leadership to make their community a better, safer place for all?!

Hase kurz nach der Eiablage

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The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is having their 3rd Annual Bunny Chase 5K and Family Fun Festival Saturday, April 23, from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Medal of Honor Park in Mobile.


They are looking for some older Girl Scouts to help with face painting and hiding Easter eggs. If you or your troop would like to help, please let Erica Bass, programintern@girlscoutssa.org know by Friday, April 15.

 

Girl Scout troops are also invited to register and run in the 5K or 1-Mile Fun Run.  Register online at active.com.

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popes_tms_web.jpgWe're so excited about the 3rd annual Thin Mint Sprint, and things just keep getting even better! 

We've already got:
  • the new patch program (the deadline to register for the patch program is tomorrow, February 18!)
  • you can recycle old tennis shoes, thanks to Baldwin Bone and Joint, P.C.
  • Azalea City DJ's Step Daddy will be there to entertain
  • troops will be leading crafts, selling cookies, and being Thin Mint cheerleaders
  • various health screenings and safety activities led by city personnel
  • The troop with the most race entries will win a troop award
And now, to top it all off, the Museum of Art is having a family friendly Mardi Gras event.  In case you're not familiar with the area, the museum is in Langan Park, where the Thin Mint Sprint is held.  So, after the health expo/awards ceremony is over, you can walk on over to even more (and FREE) fun!

The event will include Mardi Gras inspired art activities, ballroom dancing, music, refreshments, Mardi Gras inspired short plays, and more.

This is really shaping up to be a great day at Langan Park.  Will you be there?
Have you ever looked at the birds in your backyard, maybe even counted them?  Then you are all set to be a citizen-scientist and participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count during F
American Robin -- Humber Bay Park (East) (Toro...

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eb 18-21.  All it takes is to spend 15 minutes tallying the different birds in your yard, neighborhood or other location sometime during the days of the Bird Count.  Then go to www.birdcount.org and enter the highest number of each type of bird you saw.

How does this help science?  When lots of people all over the country participate, we get a look at how bird populations change in number and location.  Scientists use this information to monitor bird health and migrations.

This could be a fun activity for a troop meeting, a family, or just time relaxing by yourself in the backyard.  More information  can be found at www.birdcount.org



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Give new life to old shoes!  Bring your gently-used athletic shoes to the Thin Mint Sprint on February 26.  Just tie the laces together to keep the shoes in pairs and drop them off -- they will land on the feet of someone who really needs them.

As an added bonus, Girl Scouts of South Alabama may receive a cash prize if we are among the top three schools or groups who donate the most shoes.

 The Many More Miles Campaign is a community project hosted by Baldwin Bone & Joint, P.C., and collects shoes for the homeless outreach programs of Wings of Life and Discovery Ministries.

Help make a difference for kids in need

Montgomery's new One Place Family Justice Center, which helps victims of domestic violence (mostly women and children) during the critical time immediately after they seek a safe haven after becoming victims of crime, is requesting donations of new or gently used stuffed animals and books for its special children's room where kids can stay while their parent is seeking assistance.  The center has a goal that no child will leave without a something special to take with them and has asked Girl Scouts to assist in the collection effort.
 
Our girls have been eager to support the success of One Place, and one troop even decorated a beautiful Christmas tree for the children's room. If you or your troop would like to help, you may drop off your items at either the Montgomery or Mobile Service Centers.  They will be greatly appreciated by One Place and the children it serves.

Serve your community and have fun learning about visual art! The Mobile Museum of Art has some great volunteer opportunities for Girl Scouts, ages 14 and up.

The museum welcomes courteous and enthusiastic youth to assist with museum and community events. Check out these upcoming opportunities and sign up today!

·       Birthday Buddies: one volunteer per party to help children with an art activity during the Masterpiece Birthday Party (held on Saturdays and Sundays); parties last for 1.5 hours, total volunteer time averages 2.5 hours.

·       Art Club Assistants: once-a-month activities sponsored by the Mobile Public Library, from 4-5 p.m.; Toulminville Branch activities are on Wednesday afternoons and the Ben May Branch activities are on Thursday afternoons.

·       Mardi Gras Festival: Saturday, February 26, 2011, at the Mobile Museum of Art.

·       Festival of Flowers: Saturday, March 26 and Sunday, March 27, 2011, at Providence Hospital.

·       Arts Alive: Saturday, April 9, 2011, at the Mobile Museum of Art.

·       Earth Day Celebration: Saturday, April 23, 2011.

·       Summer Art Blast Camp: Summer, 2011.

For more information on these exciting volunteer opportunities, contact Gail McCain, Volunteer Coordinator for the Mobile Museum of Art, at (251) 208-5211 or gail.mccain@mobilemuseumofart.com.

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Airbus Engineering is looking for an older girl troop to help with an event. They  are hosting a Breakfast With Santa Saturday, December 11, from 8 a.m.-- noon at the Battlehouse in downtown Mobile. They would like six to 12 volunteers 12 years and older who like to work with children to come and help with crafts. If your troop is interested, please contact Rose-Marie Waters at 251-434-7301.

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It's time for the annual Cans for Cash™ City Recycling Challenge!

This national recycling competition runs from October 1 - October 31. All you have to do is save and recycle your aluminum cans to help your city win! A total of $70,000 in prize money can be won in categories ranging from Most Cans Collected to Most Innovative Ideas, as well as the American Video Recycler Award.

Get your girls together and grab up some cans!  This is the perfect opportunity to teach your Girl Scout troop about the benefits of recycling and how it conserves our natural resources. You could get the Recycling Rocks fun patch, too! Help girls collect used cans from family and friends to donate to your city while educating them on global sustainability efforts.

The cities in our council participating are: Montgomery, Mobile and Daphne. 

For fun recycling facts and games to share with your Girl Scout troop, visit http://www.kidsbegreen.org/.

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