Submitted by Nancy Murzyn
Northern and Northeastern CO
We are a group of four girls from Troop 72737 that worked this past fall on our Silver Award. For our project we worked with Meals on Wheels. We decorated and filled Christmas stockings as our main project but we wanted to do more so we also participated in a delivery day with them and decorated meal bags for Valentine’s Day. We did this so we can help the community and make the world a better place.
Meals on Wheels is an organization that helps homebound seniors get the supplies and food they need. Sometimes, like with Christmas, Meals on Wheels delivery people are the only interaction the seniors have. Normally they serve about 250 people in Fort Collins but for Christmas that number drops to around 125.
We had to contact Meals on Wheels a lot during our project so we could get critical information about what they wanted us to do. For example, we had to contact them to know how many stockings they needed, what day we could pick up the stockings, what day they’d like them dropped off, when we could deliver meals for them, what else we could do, and lots of other stuff.
Meals on Wheels was able to give us the stockings, which was a big help. One of our tasks was to make the stockings special. We researched how to make them look nice without a lot of money and once we decided on what to do we asked our troop to help get the supplies and decorate them with us teaching our troop members how to do it.
A few weeks after we began our project we started to reach out to other Girl Scout troops, asking assistance in making crafts to put in the Christmas stockings. Only a few days later, all of a sudden we were hit with emails from people who wanted to help. We were beyond thrilled!
Our group traveled from our old grade school all the way out to different cities to help groups make crafts. We helped some groups make crafts while others found ways to deliver the crafts to one of us. We successfully collected or made 8 crafts.
The hardest part was coordinating with the other troop leaders. It was easier said then done as there were like 3 different Sarahs. Talking, meeting, and helping these troops and their leaders was awesome, the whole adventure was such a delight.
We also collected donations to stuff the stockings with. To get donations we had to take several steps. First we made an outline of what we were going to do and then made a brochure to give to stores. Our brochure was a simple and quick way to explain what we were doing and why. We also added a list of what we were collecting (pens, notepads/cards, candy, Kleenex, chapstick, etc), our leader’s email, and a ‘thank you for contributing’ message.
Next we split into two teams to visit the stores on the list we had brainstormed. Some businesses gave us a check and some had us fill out request for donation forms. It was hard to ask for help but and several business simply said no. We do want to extend a big thank you to the stores who donated and helped us out!
With our crafts and donations collected we again asked our troop to help with the stuffing of the stockings. We ended up with 125 stockings decorated and stuffed. This represents the number of clients that Meals on Wheels has that had no where to go for Christmas. Our stockings might have been the only present they received.
Since we had so many people contribute to the stockings we wanted to do something ourselves to contribute to the project. We decided to decorate meal bags for Valentine’s Day with our group decorating over 41 bags. Our troop helped us decorate the remaining 36 that we were giving turning it into a mini service project for them.
We also wanted to interact with the Meals on Wheels clients more to actually meet with them. We picked a day when we didn’t have school and delivered meals to 12 people as a team. The clients each got two trays, one with hot food and one with cold food. They really thanked us for the food and we saw how much they appreciated getting it and talking to us. We were glad that we did this part so we could help the people Meals on Wheels serves in person. The only hard part was trying to find the houses and making sure the clients heard the doorbell ring!
The hardest part of the project was trying to get all the supplies for the stockings and contacting all the donors to get the right number of supplies we needed. If we did the project again we would work a bit on more organization to keep track of everything.
To all other Girl Scouts working on their Silver Award we would like to encourage you to do it. You do have to put a lot of work into the project and remember that everyone needs to contribute. If you don’t do your work you might mess up the entire project. Also, be aware that you might have to redo things in order to finish without any problems. Finally, remember to keep working even if it seems like it is taking a long time. You do have to work hard to finish the project and in the end it is worth all the time you put in.
We’re really glad that we finished our Silver Award and think it helped prepare us to do our Gold Award when we are older. We’ll encourage the rest of our troop and any other Cadette scout to work on a project also. It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun and we learned a lot about how to work on a big project.
So this project is sustainable, here is the process we went through. The journey we took had several steps:
1. First of all, we had to plan everything out so that we would meet the requirements of the award and have enough time to complete our project by the deadline. We met twice a week every Monday and Thursday starting in October and ending in December. We did extend our project into January as we wanted to do a bit more than just the stockings for Meals on Wheels.
2. Next, we had to put our many planning meetings into action and start collecting donations. We had many local stores rise to the occasion magnificently. Without these amazing contributions, we would not have succeeded. Thank you to all of our sponsors, including all of the other Girl Scout troops who helped us make crafts! By the end of November, we had almost three fourths of the crafts and varied items collected and stored safely.
3. Our final step was to wrap up the project. We gathered the remaining crafts and stuffed the stockings with the help of our other troop members and outstanding leaders. At last, we delivered the stockings to Meals on Wheels as the last portion of our project.
We hope this inspires you to possibly help Meals on Wheels out (maybe next Christmas) and also inspires you to start work on your Silver Award.
Thank you for reading!
Wren, Ella, Mikayla, Roxi from Troop 72737
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