One of my favorite childhood memories takes me back to when I was 8 years old, helping my grandmother at our church on Saturday mornings to box up food from the local food bank for our neighbors in need. My grandmother was in charge of the food distribution, and the volunteers who helped were kind and patient, including me in tasks that I was able to handle and making me feel a part of the service we were providing to the community.
These Saturday mornings helped to shape the rest of my life. I spent countless hours throughout high school and college volunteering to help those around me. After college, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer for nearly three years on two different continents.
As Girl Scouts, we have many opportunities to work with our sisters to make the world a better place. This year, GSUSA offered several different National Service Projects, including writing letters people in nursing homes, sewing face masks, and addressing food insecurity through the current Fighting Hunger campaign.
Girl Scouts are also encouraged to participate in local community service and Take Action projects. Although different, both community service and Take Action projects are essential elements to Girl Scouting. The below information comes from the Understanding Take Action Activity for Juniors on the GSUSA Girl Scouts at Home webpage.
“Community service projects are acts of kindness and important ways to help something or someone right now. They are commonly short-term projects that almost always multiply efforts that are already in place. Examples include collecting food for an existing food pantry, providing clothing or toiletries to people who have suffered during a disaster, cleaning up a rundown playground, or picking up trash at a park, forest, or beach.
Girl Scout Take Action projects address an issue by tackling the factors that cause or contribute to it. As you may expect, these projects have a far-reaching influence. They’re designed to change something for the better—forever. Projects associated with Journeys and the highest awards (the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award) are Take Action projects.”
Both types of projects help us practice the Girl Scout Promise and Law by helping people and making the world a better place. When you decide to participate in community service or Take Action projects, you make an impact not only on those around you, but also on your future.
My daughter is a Junior Girl Scout this year and, like many of you, looking forward to serving her community through projects with her troop.
She also looks forward to being be able to return to helping my mother, who is now leading the local food distribution efforts, to box up food for families in need.
Post by Adia Walker