By Kate Tobiasson, Contributing Writer
Marlborough/Hudson – Some teenagers might be happy to spend their summers on the couch, but five charismatic girls from Marlborough and Hudson spent their summer working to help children who are often hidden in the shadows.
Members of Troop 65022, Alysa Oldham, Maria Barreto, Marisa Coye, Anjali Sangappa and Calleigh Walsh collaborated to help put together “Bags for Kids.” The project took months to complete, and showed the girls’ commitment to helping their community.
“We chose this project because we want to help kids who live without the things that they need; they don’t always get the basics that they need in life, like basic hygiene supplies,” Calleigh explained. “We wanted to help foster children in our community because these are kids who are just like us, but might be struggling because of their family situations.”
The girls worked to understand the foster care system in Massachusetts and in their hometowns. After speaking with the Department of Children and Family Services and local foster parents, the girls wrote to local businesses requesting donations to help foster children in the area. They spent their summer assembling bags, which were filled with oral and personal hygiene items. To best help the children, the girls also created a brochure outlining why they put together the bags, and the importance of mindfulness.
“Practicing mindfulness can help kids relax when they’re feeling stressed out,” Calleigh said. “The brochure outlined the importance of brushing and flossing and practicing basic hygiene. Practicing this can help kids fit in school better, and we wanted them to be more comfortable during school and at home.”
In total, the girls were able to assemble and donate 150 bags to local children in foster care.
Their work on this project culminated with a presentation at Hudson Public Library Aug. 29. Together, the girls’ work helped them to earn the Silver Award – the second highest award in Girl Scouts for a Take Action project for their community.
Their real reward was understanding the positive impact that they had on their community.
“I’m proud that I was able to help kids’ lives,” Calleigh said. “I want people to know that the things we put together in the bags are essentials. It is important to work to help provide kids who might have these things with the supplies that they need every day.”