Girl Scouts Give Back

By Kim Connolly

Originally appeared in December 2011

The Girls Scout mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. The eighth-grade girls of Troop 2034, led by Deanna Nolan and Sherry Lake, have put that mission into practice with holiday outreach projects for the past seven years. The girls have often visited an area nursing home to sing Christmas carols and create handmade ornaments with the residents. They also create and distribute holiday cards to each resident. Last Christmas, the girls visited Our Lady of Peace. One of the Scouts, Becky, said, The holiday service projects have helped me learn to respect older people and want to help out more in the community.

The girls plan out their year, and are always enthusiastic about choosing where to go for their holiday project, explains Deanna Nolan. Often the location is chosen because of a personal connection  perhaps a grandparent lives at a certain nursing home, or they saw the need for more visitors at a local hospital. One year the girls spread holiday cheer at Martha Jefferson Hospital, and another year they chose to switch the activity to Valentines Day at Rosewood Village nursing home.

This years project will test the girls culinary skills as they cook dinner one night for the families at the Ronald McDonald House, which provides a temporary home-away-from-home for families whose children are receiving treatment for a serious illness or injury in Charlottesville.

Kim is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the United Way Thomas Jefferson Area. To find out about volunteer opportunities, visit the United Ways Volunteer Center,

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