Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day 34: Balloon Animals

Today was our Troop's annual visit to the Interfaith Family Shelter, where we host a party for the children staying there.

We brought the cakes we made (and then froze) at winter camp, balloons, craft materials to make Valentine cards, friendship bracelet string, water bottles and beads and a glue-gun to make water rattles for the toddlers, washcloths and rubber bands to make boo-bunnies, bubbles and straws, and of course, our fun and friendly girls, who made each one of these children feel special.

The other leader remarked to me how glad she was to see the girls so enthusiastic about this project in particular. I agree - of all the things we do, this is the one that really gives them an opportunity to spend some time face-to-face with truly disadvantaged folks facing serious hardship - and to do something to brighten their day and put smiles on their faces.

Girl Scouts is about empowering these young women. Seeing them travel to places they may not have had the chance to visit otherwise, seeing them challenge themselves in the outdoors, or learn new skills indoors - it's all great. But helping them to know that no matter what's going on in their own lives, there's always someone else with larger struggles, and giving them the opportunity to reach out and do something for someone in need - that's a whole other kind of empowerment, and it's a beautiful thing to see.

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