By Makenzie Atkins
Ever wonder what our local Girl Scouts are up to? Turns out they are doing good all around the community to earn badges and support those in need. Girl Scout Troop 33017 recently collected socks and underwear to donate to Hope for Her in order to receive their next badge by setting up at different locations.
These Junior Girl Scouts were seeking out the Bronze Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout this age can receive. The award consists of a minimum 20 hours of the girls exploring the community and then choosing, planning and completing a project that will support a local issue. While planning the project for the award, the girls realized how many kids their age are on the verge of being homeless or are homeless in the community.
Each girl submitted an idea and met several times to discuss until they decided to focus on helping the homeless. After they landed on their topic, the leaders reached out to different churches and organizations for specific projects they could work on. Two of the churches they reached out to recommended they work with Hope for Her. Once all the details had been worked out, the girls found different organizations that would host their drive. The troop had donation boxes at Lithia Springs Elementary, Alafia Elementary, Campo Y and more. They even have an Amazon Wish List that is still able to accept donations.
Hope for Her is an organization in Brandon that helps women and children struggling with crisis and trauma find the support they need. The organization assists with things like childcare, employment, food, clothing and so much more. Hope for Her was started by Cheryl Hickman, a woman who went through a similar experience to the women she helps today. After experiencing her own crisis and trauma, she knew she wanted to help other women and children who need it. The sock and underwear drive done by the Girl Scouts had a big impact on the community and the organization couldn’t have been more thankful.
“The girls project benefits 250 children indeed. Some of these children, ages 4 to 12, come from homeless families right here in East Hillsborough County. I love the fact that the girls chose to do a project that directly impacts their peers locally,” said Hickman.
Hope for Her was so impressed by the work this Girl Scout troop did that it even invited them back for its back-to-school event on Friday, August 6. At this event, the girls will be able to hand out the socks and underwear they collected along with items like school supplies, backpacks and toiletries.