Girl Scouts Help Make the World a Better Place
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The Girl Scouts’ mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. So it’s no surprise when we see Girl Scout troops creating Stars of HOPE for their community and worldwide. It’s like the perfect pairing of Thin mints and milk!
When Girl Scouts of Weston, CT, first heard about the shooting in San Bernardino, they came together to make messages that would hopefully lift their spirits and let them know that girls across the country were there for them. The Stars of HOPE were brought out to San Bernardino two weeks after the shooting and hung on the Inland Regional Center fence. The stars on the tarp-covered fence gathered the attention of survivors of the attack. And subsequently, they invited Stars of HOPE to participate in their first healing gathering of the survivor group. Stars have since been created each year at the San Bernardino Winter Festival and have traveled to communities that have experienced human-caused and natural- caused disasters. The Girl Scouts of Weston helped make this connection happen and for the community to experience the stars’ healing power.
Girl Scouts from San Bernardino have created stars through the Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley. The Humane Education teacher, Lynn Hildebrand, looks for ways to teach children about one’s power. Within every child is the ability to make a difference. “When you think about it, these Stars of Hope are so amazing. They can make a difference in someone’s life — these little pieces of wood can change a life,” Lynn said. “I can’t help but think of the hostility and anger that seems to be consuming our world through social media, and how the miracle of these nondescript 12-inch wooden stars are melting the hostility, anger, and rage and putting hope, love, faith, respect, and compassion there instead.”
Lynn, the Humane Society, and the San Bernardino area Girl Scouts have created stars for the wildfires in Australia, the Cave Divers in Thailand, and their sister city, Tachikawa, Japan. “Life around the world is connected.”
In November of 2018, in Rural Wisconsin, three Girl Scouts and a Girl Scouts leader were picking up trash alongside a county road when police allege a man’s pickup crashed into the group. This horrific story stirred the compassion of the New Highland Girl Scouts. Highland Girl Scout Troop 1250 Leader Angela Marquiss.
“Angela wrote to me about painting Stars of Hope for the affected troop – something tangible they could do in addition to sending cards,” said Lynn, “It shows the evidence of the ‘connection of compassion’ created by Stars of Hope,” Lynn added.
Angela, who wants to do something positive to help the affected troop, said many in the Highland council were sending cards. But she wanted to do something else with her girls.
“I immediately thought of Lynn and the Stars of Hope,” said Angela, adding that she had known of Lynn through a Stars of Hope workshop Lynn had conducted at her daughter, Emma’s school, Thompson Elementary. “My daughter, Emma, feels so horrible about this tragedy, so we talked about it and how people are rallying around those affected, showing their love and compassion,” Angela said. Angela has led her troop since the girls were in kindergarten in 2012. “The girls are so compassionate and care deeply about the community,” Angela said.
Girl Scouts of Tulsa, OK, heard about a racial slur painted outside the Physiques by Monique Indoor Cycling & Personal Training Studio. They decided to respond with kindness and painted Stars of HOPE and displayed them on Valentine’s Day. Monique Washington of Physiques by Monique responded to the Girl Scouts compassion, “And the love continues to spread…one month ago someone wrote the “n” word in front of my business. It was a shock to the system, but I came to work this morning to find this from many Girl Scouts in the Tulsa area. My heart is full.”
“We love this project by Girl Scouts Troop 442 in Tulsa, OK! They painted Stars of HOPE and created a HOPE Tree for their teacher battling breast cancer. “We rise by lifting others, and these Girl Scouts are doing just that!” said troop leader Jessica Litchfield-Cermak.
A tornado tore through Orlando, Florida, destroyed homes and shattering lives during the beginning of June. Caringly painted stars were created by Cleveland Elementary School Girl Scout Troup #3017 and sent to the Stars of HOPE Bank. Stars of HOPE shared them to bring a little love and light to families suffering from the destruction.
Girl Scouts understand the importance of raising people who need hope. A Daisy Troop in Stamford, CT, created stars for older adults on lockdown in Stamford. The Stars could go where people can not and let the isolated seniors know they are being thought about.
Stars of HOPE and Girl Scouts can make people smile. A Star of HOPE is like a Girl Scout Cookie without the calories! Stars of HOPE and Girl Scouts empower girls, give them confidence and the tools they need to make the world a better place.