Each evening as we watch the news, we hear about another challenge with our country's financial institutions. These issues trickle down to much higher prices at the gas pump, the grocery store and the shopping mall. Our council is no exception, having to juggle many needs with a finite amount of resources.
This was the first year of our newly aligned council. There were many unknowns and some surprises, both good and bad. There has been considerable change, but we have worked hard to make sure they positively impact the girls' events, activities and programs. Keeping GIRLS FIRST in our work and planning is always imperative.
After our first year in existence, we have some financial challenges, as does every not-for-profit in this economy. With more than 800 acres in facilities, buildings, utility bills, gas and salaries, it is hard to get the cookie funds and other monies to stretch far enough to meet all the needs. Maintaining a balanced budget is imperative, as responsible stewards of the funds our girls work so hard to earn. In an effort to have a balanced budget for the 2008-2009 year, we have been forced to make some cutbacks. These include a reduction in the number of staff, as well as operational cuts. This is painful because these are challenging economic times and layoffs are always difficult, because they impact people's lives. The reductions in staff were decided upon in relation to the core functions of a Girl Scout council. It was completed across all the staff teams. Visit the Contact Us page of the website for a listing of the staff.
There was some erroneous information circulating in the northern part of the council earlier this week. This did not accurately reflect our financial position. We will continue to operate both service centers and shops. We are, however, working to ensure that we garner our resources and use them effectively for the good of our GIRLS.
I realize this is yet another change in a year of so many changes. But the funds simply don't stretch far enough to meet all the needs. We all work with our GIRLS best interest at heart. I appreciate your support, hard work and effort as we work to build the best GIRL-LED council in the US.
Elizabeth Brent, Ph.D.