Leadership and service. Those are important qualities for everyone to have, and the girls from Jefferson City Girl Scout Troop # 30287 learned a lot about both qualities through their recent service project.
The girls “adopted” the Jefferson City Animal Shelter for their project in order to receive their Bronze Awards. “The girls brainstormed about their community service project and decided what organization they wanted to help,” said Troop Leader Jennifer Lennon. After deciding it would be nice to help animals without families, a call was made to the Jefferson City Animal Shelter to ask about their needs. Personnel from the shelter said they were in need of cat beds, toys and treats. Armed with that knowledge, the girls went to work. Lennon said the program was led by the girls, with Troop leaders and other adults assisting. Each of the 10 girls completed the required 20 hours to earn their Bronze Award, totaling 200 community service hours to the project.
“The girls researched their project and were given a pattern for the cat beds from the Animal Shelter. They did all the cutting and measuring of the PVC pipe and the fabric, and we had volunteers who sewed the beds,” Lennon said. A total of 15 beds were made by the girls. In addition, they assisted with an adoption day at PetCo, where they asked customers to donate toys, leashes, collars treats and food for the animals. They also volunteered their time to walk dogs and brush and play with the dogs and cats who are making their home at the shelter. While some of the donated goods were given to the Jefferson City Shelter, the girls were also able to make contributions to the Callaway Hills Animal Shelter. The girls also held a bake sale to reimburse the Troop’s treasury for the materials needed for the cat beds. And, they all said they made their own baked goods, with some assistance from their parents.
The girls were excited to talk about the project and what it meant to them and how they in turn helped the community.
“The hardest part of the project was planning what to do,” said Hosanna Tesfaye, adding that there are so many projects that would be a benefit to the community. Elizabeth Conley agreed: “If you look, you can always find someone who needs something. It is fun to help the community.”
Veronica Tarka noted that this was not a quick project. “It took us several meetings to make the cat beds and discuss our plan,” she said.
All of the girls said they enjoyed helping out at the shelter by walking the dogs and brushing and playing with the dogs and cats. While most of them were not able to talk their parents into adopting animals, Arlo Lennon said they adopted two kittens and a dog; and Riley Wibberg assisted her uncle in choosing the best dog for him.
Although the girls have completed this project and will bridge over to the next level of Girl Scouts, they are already planning activities for next year when they will be earning their next Silver Award, said Ashley Atkinson. Lauren Gross said they are already discussing what they can do, such as volunteering at the Samaritan Center and cleaning up Greenway Trail.
“As a Troop, we have many activities, campouts, fundraisers and we volunteer,” said Riley Wibberg. “We have a lot of fun and this is a big part of our lives. Being a Girl Scout will actually help us in the future.”
“Sometimes when people help others, they are doing it for themselves. The reason we do things is not only about helping the community, but we also have fun. I hope that everyone can sense that they can help their community. It’s important to help and we have to do it. As Girl Scouts, that’s our job,” said Hosanna Tesfaye.
“Girl Scouts is all about helping our community. The awards are just an extra bonus,” said Veronica Tarka.