By Jerry Luckmann
Girl Scouts in Oak Ridge contributed more than 1,860 hours of community service during the past school year. Twenty-two troops, representing all ages and levels of Girl Scouting, tackled projects benefiting kids, local service organizations, veterans, senior citizens, and the environment.
The founder of Girl Scouts in the United States, Juliette Low, believed that community service offered Girl Scouts a unique opportunity to address community needs and develop leadership in every girl. The Girl Scouts in Oak Ridge have embraced this belief and worked to make it a vital part of every member’s experience.
Sixty girls and family members from nine troops participated in the Food 4 Kids project, packing monthly the nearly 2,000 bags of food that are given to children in Oak Ridge schools who need food at home on the weekends. More than 80 girls, representing eight troops, participated in the Dolls for Daisy project, to clean and refurbish hundreds of dolls for Christmas distribution at the Holiday Bureau. Girl Scouts donated health and beauty “goody bags” and Christmas decorations to the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge. Environmental projects included recycling “Capri Sun” bags in a local school and planting trees to reforest land in Anderson County.
Senior Girl Scout Miriam Ryburne contributed more than 200 hours of service in completion of her Gold Award project, “Knit One, Help One.” The Gold Award is the highest award that can be earned in Girl Scouting, equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle Award. Miriam and her team of 15 knitters provided hand-knitted washcloths, scarves, hats, and baby blankets to the Oak Ridge Women’s Shelter, Knoxville Rescue Mission, Florence Crittenton Agency, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, and a girl’s orphanage in Jakarta, Indonesia.
And finally, local Girl Scout leaders and adult volunteers reported more than 300 hours of service to Girl Scouts in Oak Ridge troops and on the coordinating service team of the Oak Ridge Service Unit.