When you’re 7 and 8 years old, puppies and cake are high on your list of favorite things in life. When given a handful of charity options to pick from for your Brownie Troop service project, you gravitate to anything with animals. Every. Single. Time.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but as a leader attempting to keep with the designated journey theme, I wanted them to change someone’s – like a person’s — story. Regrettably taking our furry friends option off the table, I asked the girls to consider helping others in need, in very different capacities.
When you’re 7 and 8 years old, you’re focused on what’s important to you, like eating. These girls are no exception. Around the holidays, the girls supported the Love Pacs organization that feeds school lunch to kids over winter break. They enthusiastically shopped and put together care packages so kids wouldn’t be without food during Christmas.
They GET being hungry.
At least they think they do. They know what it’s like to come home from school famished and imagine it must be worse than that. These girls cannot fathom what it’s like to be for real hungry because there is no money for food.
Yet it’s no surprise that they connected with the Birthday in a Box idea, a seed planted by a friend of mine. She suggested the girls put together birthday kits to donate to the local food bank. The kits would contain: cake mix, disposable pan, frosting, and anything else to help someone have a birthday party.
When I explained that while some people do not have enough to eat, which also means they don’t get a birthday party either – they were horrified. The thought of NOT being able to have a birthday party with their family was shocking to my little suburbanites. No question they were completely on board with having a party in the neighborhood to collect Birthday in a Box donations. (They even filmed an ad to post to Facebook.)
And then shopping for more kits at Walmart with the cash donations.
Look at them with the director, donating 560 pounds of Birthday Party Kits to the local food bank!
That’s 65 kits filled with candles, streamers, party hats, funny glasses and all the cake essentials someone would need to have a party at home.
Wahoo! A job well done girls!
I’m so grateful for this idea and I am sharing it with you in case someone asks you one day, “Do you have any ideas for our girl scouts?” It was a great, age-appropriate service project that will certainly make a difference in someone’s life, on a very special day. It was easy to get my professional colleagues involved and I was so touched by the neighborhood support as well. I’m hoping they decide to do it again next year, growing the mission with bigger goals and new ideas on how to collect more kits.
Cake FTW, every time.