Sunday, February 17, 2013

Girl Scouts Serve, Give Cookies to Food Banks and the Military

Sharing the Gift of Caring with Cookies!
 I have been quite impressed with the quality of community service projects performed by our local Girl Scouts. Two of our Seniors at Palo Alto High School, twin sisters Heather and Elizabeth Bowman, are working on their Gold Award projects to benefit their fellow students: a Women in Business Forum to be held on March 5th, and a Science Discovery Festival as part of Paly Service Day on April 30th. The Women in Business Forum showcases local entrepreneurs who will share with  students the secrets of their success. The Science Discovery fair provides a service opportunity for our high school students to teach K-8 students at Beechwood School, a local private school in East Menlo Park. 

My middle daughter really wanted to be a Girl Scout in middle school, but at the time we could not find a troop in our area. I wish we'd been able to form our own. The short time I spent in Girl Scouts in the 1960s provided me a chance to try new things, and to learn more about my community in Los Altos Hills, California. Because our dedicated troop leaders worked to get special group rates around town, I also learned to skate and to bowl thanks to Girl Scouts. I discovered a feeling of accomplishment by selling cookies, and our troop benefited from the fundraising. Cookie prices have increased dramatically over the years, and a box of treats might seem to some a luxury. These days, my family might purchase five or six boxes in a season, sharing them widely with anyone who visits our home in February and March.

Many councils have adopted the "Gift of Caring" community service project, where customers are encouraged to donate cash or a box or two of cookies for a nearby food bank, or for those serving in the military. If you've ever seen the offerings on the shelves at either a food bank or a military canteen, you can see why these were chosen as beneficiaries! So, when those smiling faces outside of the grocery store or coming door-to-door ask you to buy Girl Scout cookies, don't be shy. Purchase some cookies to benefit all of the good work that Girl Scouts do, and throw in an extra box or two for those less fortunate than yourself. Students like Heather and Elizabeth Bowman, along with countless others, will put these funds into community action projects. At just $4 a box, the world becomes a better place one cookie at a time.

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