By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Northborough – Northborough's Brownie Troop 30485 learned firsthand Nov. 6 what it means to give back. The group of third-graders put together 50 goody bags to be donated to the nonprofit organization Birthday Wishes, which has an office in Northborough.
Not only was the event a community service project, but it provided a tangible way for the girls to help children who are less fortunate. Packed with crayons, coloring books, stickers, bubbles, spin tops and stampers, the goody bags, which were purchased with proceeds from cookie sales, will be used for a local Birthday Wishes party.
Troop leaders Lesli Cashin, Maribeth Grandpre and Amy Walsh were glad to be a part of this special initiative.
“We especially love the idea of helping out the Birthday Wishes organization,” they said, “because it is an opportunity for hands-on community service. There are so many opportunities to give and contribute to so many different organizations, whether it be Toys for Tots, or mittens and coats for a coat drive, but few of those opportunities allow the girls to experience firsthand how their efforts affect someone's life.”
According to Grandpre, Troop 30485 is planning to attend a local Birthday Wishes party and the benefits of this experience will be twofold: first, there is the benefit of witnessing the lives of others less fortunate and, second, the benefit of being able to make another child feel special. It gives the Brownies the chance to step outside themselves and focus on others.
Troop 30485 leaders are eager to bring the Brownies to the party. Here, they said, “The girls can meet and experience the happiness that their actions bring to a little boy or girl when they throw a party. They will get to show that little boy or girl that they matter, which as parents and leaders, we think is an extremely important message for a child.”
The fact that Nov. 6 was Birthday Wishes” second annual Luminary Night was not lost on the troop's leaders. As part of the goody bag event, the girls also assembled a dozen luminaries that were lit and placed along the walkway at troop Walsh's house. The girls helped light the luminaries, another tangible reminder of the less-fortunate children who would be receiving the goody bags.
Giving back to the community is common for this group of 8-year-olds who have been together since kindergarten. For the leaders, the hope is that the girls adopt a broad understanding of what it means and how it feels to help people so that they always carry the desire with them. They have already made and delivered Halloween candy wreaths to a local senior center and have plans to make blankets for children in the hospital and pull-toys for shelter dogs. In addition, they will be donating food and toiletry items to a local food pantry. True to the Girl Scout mission, the leaders of Brownie Troop 30485 are “building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.”
The members of Troop 30485 are Ana Long, Maeve Grandpre, Maeve Hamling, Allyson Cashin, Julia Farrell, Kerri Walsh, Kerry Donovan, Michaela Berk, Emma Clark, Amanda Ares, Nicole Castilla, Lucy McGlynn, Grace Coderre and Hannah Thornton.