Recently in Community Service Category

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We've spent the week working on delivery schedules, packing in cookies at the cookie cupboards and pantries, and cleaning up issues with swipe devices, so clearly the cookie chaos is about to commence.

The council goal for cookies this year is 913,488 packages or boxes of cookies.   Now, that is a lot of cookies.   This amount is what we sold last year, so we know it is achievable.   Our girls are some of the most prolific cookie sellers in the nation, with our per girl average at 200 for last year.   We hope to exceed that and the number of boxes sold.   We believe we are well positioned to make that happen.

Each year at this time, we always start planning for resident camp in earnest.   One of the goals is provide some new opportunities for the girls if we achieve the council goal.   In the past, you may recall we have purchased stand up paddleboards when we made our goal.  Another year, we installed zip lines at two of the camps because we exceeded our council cookie goal.   This year, I'm in search of what would motivate girls to work hard to sell cookies.   One item on my list is to purchase more Jon boats (flat bottomed), so girls who cannot use the canoes are able to get out on the lake in a boat.   Jon boats are much more stable, hold more girls, and you row rather than paddle, ergo the famous camp song "Row, Row, Row, Your Boat."   Purchasing more stand up paddleboards is another possibility.   We are open to suggestions on this, please give us your thoughts at communications@girlscoutssa.org.

I always feel compelled to remind troop leaders and parents that ABC Bakers, our cookie baker, has some great apps that make the cookie program a learning experience for the girls from every angle.   The app for girls to use during the cookie program is called COCO.  Click here for instructions on downloading and using the app.   I believe girls not only learn while selling cookies; when they are at home they can set goals, and establish them in a visible way they can track via the app.   The cookie program presents a great opportunity for girls to learn about the work of commerce.

I hope the cookie delivery went well and your sales are looking great.

Thank you for all you do this time of year to create girls who are young entrepreneurs and business women.

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It is a week to remember fallen heroes -- a week of patriotism and reflection.   While we reflect on those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom, it is always good to take stock of ourselves, as well.  What would we have done?   What do we do to make the world a better place?

I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with our volunteers last week.  This is always a delight because I have the privilege of working with some extraordinarily gifted people.   I never cease to be amazed by GSSA volunteers.   So why do they do what they do?

When you examine the literature of volunteering, you find that most people volunteer because they are patriotic.   They are altruistic, and this is their way to improve their community and give back.   Other reasons are that those who volunteer have strong values, and they hope to install values in those they work with.   That is very clear with GSSA volunteers, and we see this illustrated everyday.   Others want to better understand themselves and others.   I am certain every one of our volunteers has learned something from the girls with whom she works.   They are also looking for personal growth.

The literature says volunteering is good for the body and the mind.   If you have ever spent any time with a Daisy troop, you certainly understand the good for the body part of that experience with a room of girls full of boundless energy.   Volunteering brings new friends, new relationships and a better understanding of the community.

Finally, volunteering makes you happy.   As someone who works with girls and volunteers in this endeavor, I know the girls you work with are enriched by their interaction with you.   Hopefully, volunteering with girls is fulfilling, and you know, every time you work with them you are making a difference in the lives of others.   As you take stock of what you do in the world this week, know that you matter to someone else.

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Were Girl Scouts around in 1776?  Well, no (but imagine the uniforms they might have worn!), but there IS a long history of Girl Scouts supporting America's troops and showing support for their country.  Right from the beginning of the Girl Scout movement in America, girls rolled bandages for soldiers during World War I.  During World War II, Girl Scouts knit socks for soldiers, planted victory gardens and even sold war bonds!

 

This tradition of service to our armed forces continues.  Throughout recent wars and current conflicts, Girl Scouts make handmade valentines, write cards, and send care packages (with delicious cookies!) to our servicemen and women.  They deliver our troops the uplifting message that Girl Scouts hold them in their thoughts and prayers, especially on this most important day. 

 

Throughout the year, Girl Scouts show their patriotism in many ways -- by participating in flag retirement ceremonies; marching in Veteran's Day parades; participating in Memorial Day ceremonies and placing flags at local cemeteries.

 

The service projects that are an important part of the Girl Scout experience are patriotic, too.  Not only in the immediate benefit to the community: the skills they learn prepare our girls as leaders in the communities we hold dear, in this country we all love.

 

Enjoy your Independence Day! 
We would like to recognize  Mr. James Conway, who made a positive impact on young people in the Montgomery area  through his service to Girl Scouts and other organizations for many years.  His support helped young women to dream and be all they could be.  He served as council chair for one of our legacy councils, Girl Scouts of South Central Alabama, from 1989 - 1994.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Conway family and  his many friends.
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).

One of our fellow sisters in Girl Scouting, Hailey from Johns Chapel, was involved in  a tragic ATV Accident and was air-lifted to Children's Hospital in Birmingham.  Hailey's injuries are very serious, and she will require several months in the hospital to recover.

As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time for Hailey's family, who wish to be at their daughter's side as much as possible.  Your troops can help Hailey by collecting soda tabs on her behalf. For every gallon of soda tabs collected, her parents can stay for a night at no charge at the Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham while Hailey is in the hospital. 

If your troop has any pop tops they would like to donate, please send them to the Birmingham Ronald McDonald House in Hailey's name.  Get well cards would also be most welcome.

Please contact your local field executive for more details or for help getting the tabs to the family. Thank you for all your support in helping one of our sisters. 

Moving to a new town is unsettling enough; imagine how stressful it would be to move to a different country, leaving almost everything you own behind because you are afraid for your safety?

Catholic Social Services is seeking donations for their Refugee Resettlement Program. Refugees are people who come to the United States seeking freedom from persecution. They are admitted to the U.S. by the Department of State and sponsored by various non-profit organizations, such as Catholic  Social Services. The goal is to make the refugee families feel welcome and to ease their transition into this country.

One of the needs this time of year is gift cards if a troop would like to host a drive. Other items that are always needed are:

Alarm clocks, blankets, pillows, tea pots, pots, pans, cleaning supplies, waste baskets, deodorant, shampoo.

If your troop is interested in this worthwhile cause, please contact Alyssa Mueller: amueller@cssrrp.org (251)432-2727.

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