SHREWSBURY – Several members of Shrewsbury Girl Scout Troop 30312 recently earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award by donating several “birthday boxes” to the community refrigerator and St. Anne’s Food Pantry.
The boxes have everything needed for a birthday party, including party hats, cake mix, silverware, napkins, balloons, frosting and party favors. The group created 47 boxes in total.
The items were collected thanks to the generosity of the community. The Girl Scouts solicited donations from the town, picked the materials up and wrote notes thanking the donors.
“They were involved in the project from beginning to end,” Girl Scout Co-Leader Violetta Sobiech told the Community Advocate.
The project helped the Scouts win the Bronze Award, which the Girl Scout handbook describes as “the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve.” The award focuses on making the world a better place and making a difference in the community.
Girl Scouts Siobhan McLaughlin, Sophia Naras, Megha Shah and Allison Sobiech achieved the award, guided by co-leaders Jill Shah, Jane Siebels and Sobiech.
“It felt really small when we first put [the birthday boxes in], but after I thought about the fact that somebody would pick it up and use it. It felt like I was doing something so awesome for someone, and it was super cool,” McLaughlin said.
She continued, “I think we’re really privileged to be able to get things like a birthday party, and some people aren’t. I think it’s really cool that we’re able to give that opportunity to someone.”
Megha agreed with McLaughlin.
“Volunteering is important to me because it makes me feel really good to help people out,” Megha said. “We’re very fortunate – I think a lot of people don’t realize that. It’s really important to take a moment and step back and realize how privileged we are and how much a simple thing can do for someone else.”
Allison noted that she felt encouraged by the support and generosity of the community, even beyond the birthday box project.
According to Allison, the group went to St. Anne’s to fill the boxes and had the opportunity to see the food pantry.
“Seeing the food pantry there – because there was so much stuff – I felt good that it wasn’t just us, it was multiple other people helping the community,” she said.
For the Girl Scouts, the project extends beyond donating birthday boxes. The group hopes that their donation will inspire other people and groups in the area to make a difference in their local communities. Since they donated the first boxes, other groups have started to assemble their own birthday boxes for the community refrigerator.
“We’re planting seeds,” Violetta said. “It’s not a one-time event. These young ladies see what it does for the community – they know where the need is, they know where we went, they know who we spoke with – and in the future, they too can do that for the community.”