2013-04-18 / Front Page

Girl Scouts reach out to help others

More than 1,200 Girl Scouts from Monmouth and Ocean counties donated more than 3,700 hours of community service in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. The girls’ projects ranged from cooking meals and conducting food drives to volunteering at local shelters and hosting those left homeless by the storm, according to a press release.

“As soon as everyone realized the scope of damage, Girl Scouts were there wanting to help,” said Penny Shank, superstorm Sandy volunteer project coordinator for the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore. “In some cases, they were out there helping others before their own homes had electricity restored.”

In addition to local Girl Scouts making a difference, the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore coordinated a “Sisters Helping Sisters” program. The initiative connected Girl Scout families affected by superstorm Sandy with other Girl Scouts from across the country who wanted to provide support.

“We had calls from Girl Scouts across the country — Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, even Minnesota and California,” said Danielle Bagdzinski, coordinator of the “Sisters Helping Sisters” program for the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore. “All of them wanted to personally connect with a Girl Scout in need and help her and her family through a difficult time.”

To recognize Girl Scouts giving back through superstorm Sandy relief efforts, the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore created a “Restore the Shore” patch program. Girls locally and nationally earn the patch by meeting a series of service requirements, according to the press release. So far, more than 2,000 patches have been distributed to Girl Scouts across the country.

“It’s wonderful to see our girls respond in a time of crisis,” said Susan H. McClure, chief executive officer, Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore. “Part of the Girl Scout mission is to make the world a better place and that was something needed more than ever after Sandy.”

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