By Tamas Mondovics
What otherwise would have been just another nice day, turned out to be a whole lot sweeter for the foster children at A Kids Place, a unique, state-of-the-art 60-bed facility that cares for abused, neglected, or abandoned children in Valrico last month.
Thanks to the generous spirit and volunteer efforts of Girl Scout Troop 695, 246 boxes of cookies were delivered to A Kid’s Place, located at 1715 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Brandon.
“I feel very proud of myself and my fellow scouts for taking part in the project and to be able to support A Kids Place and the children that stay there,” said 9-year-old scout, Lauren Tapscott, who alone collected three cases of cookies.
As a group, the girls sold cookies by going from door to door or by selling to friends and family and asked for donations for the effort or the purchase of cookies to be donated to A Kids Place.
“People were very generous,” Tapscott said adding, that the project was “a lot of fun.”
Troop leader, Donielle Madden, said that the girls worked very hard, completing the three-week-long community project from start to finish, which included the initial choice of the organization to help.
“They talked about seniors, or to support a local animal shelter, but at the end picked A Kids Place,” Madden said.
A Kid’s Place boasts of five 3,200 sq. ft. homes located on five acres and utilizes a live-in house parent model, which provides the children at each home with consistency which simulates family living.
Almost 70 percent of the children taking shelter at the facility—until placed at a permanent home—are under five years of age. The average stay is approximately five months, but some have stayed for as long as a year. There is no limit to the length of stay for any of the children.
Pleased and thankful for the troop’s help, A Kids Place Direct Care Manager, Mary Dozier, spoke highly of the girls kindness, but also emphasized the facility’s continued need of support from the community.
“This facility could not exist without the community’s care,” Dozier said. “The girl scouts are just one example of that care and support. The cookies are of course extra special and the children love it.”
For more information about A Kid’s Place of Tampa, please visit www.akidsplacetb.org or call 381-3839.