3 Ways to Make Giving Back Really Stick with Your Girls

1.Make Giving A Traditiongift-giving

Our favorite part of holidays? The traditions. Maybe you always drink eggnog during the winter months, play pickup football after Thanksgiving dinner, or always eat an ice cream cake on your birthday- no matter the tradition, the repeated act becomes something beloved and cherished.

In addition to your existing time-honored traditions, try adding something totally selfless into the mix. Here are a few examples:

  • Volunteer as a family during the Thanksgiving season
  • Make a point to do at least one random act of kindness on your birthday, and on your children’s birthdays
  • Have your children pick out and pay for a toy to give to a child who may be less fortunate

These are just a FEW of the ways you can make giving back something that your family loves and looks forward to.

2.Expose Your Girls to Other Ways of Lifesoup-kitchen-2

You want giving to be more than another chore on her list. The true goal is to spark a passion for philanthropy that will burn far into her adulthood.

When you show your girl just how fortunate she really is, something profound just might happen; she may begin to see her privilege as something to share rather than keep to herself. Here are a few ideas to help her understand how to whom much is given, much is expected:

  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter
  • Sign up to work with underprivileged youth as a mentor

3. Be Her Examplespr2010_volunteers02

By far the most powerful way to make giving back really stick with your girls is to be the woman you want her to grow up to be. Practice kindness, forgiveness, and generosity as much as possible. Use difficult situations as learning opportunities. Let her see you lead with strength AND compassion.

You can be her hero. By volunteering and giving her your time, you are already showing her the goodness of humanity.

Blog_WrittenBy_Michelle

In honor of Giving Tuesday, we would like to thank all of our volunteers, board, and donors who make what we do possible. If you would like to get involved in the largest girl-led movement in the world, consider donating or volunteering.

 

An Article to Make us Truly Thankful and Inspired: The Brooke Shears Story

How often are we truly thankful? Not just a smile or a nicety, but really, honestly, desperately thankful for everything we have? Not enough. Even when there are countless others who are less fortunate, we tend to focus on the small and trivial. On the me, and not the we.

At the age of 16, Brooke Shears found herself struggling to keep her head above the thrashing current. Her home life had never been particularly easy, but at 16, her world fell apart. Brooke’s father had a devastating drug addiction. Her parents separated. Money was so tight it was hardly enough to cover the bills.brooke-dance

Still in high school, Brooke was working as much as possible to help support her family. Driven by a sense of duty and hope, she pushed forward. But day after day, there seemed to be no eye in this storm. Not only was her family crumbling, and the vice grip of poverty crushing, but Brooke was also being tormented by others at school.

No one really knew what she was going through, or the incredible strength she possessed. On the surface Brooke tied herself together with a smile. Underneath the contented masquerade, Brooke was coming undone under the pressure of depression and anxiety.

“Girl Scouts helped so much with my anxiety and depression. Even though I didn’t join until the 8th grade, the girls of my troop came around me and embraced me. Girl Scouts gave me something to look forward to.” -Brooke Shears, Greenvilleerin-kelly-in-switzerland-with-troop

The girls of the Troop didn’t know all the details of what Brooke was going through. They didn’t need to. All they knew was that Brooke was their sister, not bound by blood, but by an unbreakable connection built on love, respect, and a common purpose. This tightly knit Troop gave Brooke their support, encouragement, and love.

After high school, Brooke  pushed herself even harder as she worked her way through college. Even though Brooke was incredibly busy, she still made time to volunteer with Girl Scouts. She wanted to give her time and heart to other girls in need of inspiration. Now a college graduate, Brooke hopes her story will give others the encouragement they need to keep going.

“I would like to tell a girl who is having a hard time, or being bullied that it’s okay to be yourself. Never think you aren’t enough, because you always are.” -Brooke Shears, Greenville brooke-shears-3

Perhaps in reading Brooke’s story you have become inspired to keep going. Maybe you have gained a little perspective on what is really important. But the real question is- what will you do with this inspiration and perspective? This is our challenge for you: be the change you want to see, and make the world a better place.

One way you can do this is to volunteer with Girl Scouts. You can be that support that a girl so desperately needs. Be her hero. We are so thankful for all of our world changing volunteers this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Blog_WrittenBy_Michelle

Local Girl Scout Earns Gold Award by Building A Helipad in Small Town

Sometimes it seems like nothing can really go too wrong in a small town. The businesses are usually family owned, the streets quiet, and the entire community comes together to cheer on the high school football team. But for Buford, South Carolina, tragedy shook the town when a 14 year-old football player was fatally struck by a car just before a JV football game.

football-game

The Buford High School Yellow Jackets

 

Nicole Hudson, Girl Scout Alumni, remembers this day so clearly. She was in her Junior year of high school and had a volleyball game on the same night. Because of both games, the parking lot was packed with cars. Tragically, the small town didn’t have a helipad, and the crowded parking lot made it impossible for a helicopter to lift the young football player to a hospital.

As a Girl Scout, even through her grief, Nicole saw a clear need in her community and set her mind to making it a better place. Nicole had considered pursuing her Gold Award before, but just hadn’t found something she felt so passionate about. Now her goal was unshakable. She would build the first helipad in Buford, South Carolina. If all the work it would take only saved one life, it would be more than worthwhile.

Nicole started with research. No matter how many ways she cut it, the bottom line was this: She would have to raise at least $8,000 to make her vision a reality. For a sixteen year old who had never even held $8,000 in cash, the goal seemed insurmountable.

nicole-hudson-personel

Nicole on the day of the helipad ribbon cutting with an EMS crew

 

But Call after call, Nicole poured her heart out for anyone that would listen. The donations were sometime small, but it seemed that everyone she spoke to connected with her dream. They connected in such a way that Nicole’s dream became their own dream. The momentum exploded. This small town teen raised the $8,000 and even more, she rallied the community around her vision. Through her own manual labor, combined with the help of numerous volunteers, they cleared the land for the concrete to be poured.

“Even as a young female, I was able to make a real difference. Girl Scouts has given me the opportunity to literally save lives. It changes the way I live my life now.” -Nicole Hudson”

When it came time for Nicole to attend her Gold Award Ceremony, this award was so much more than an accolade in a frame. The Gold Award represented the heart of Nicole’s accomplishments; leading with courage, confidence, and character. Making the world a better place.

Nicole is now away at college, but each time she comes home to Buford, she is reminded of the power of community, and the difference one person can make.

“My dad is a volunteer firefighter in Buford. Every time I come home and hear his radio go off, I have no doubt that all the hours and hard work were worth it.” -Nicole Hudson

Blog_WrittenBy_Michelle

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Gold Award. Girls who earn this award are required to spend at least 80 hours researching, presenting, and working their projects. Girls who earn the Gold Award are eligible for additional scholarships and enter the military one rank higher.

Do you want to teach your girl what it means to be a true leader? Consider joining Girl Scouts and encouraging her to pursue the Gold Award.