Girl Scout Cadette Troop 89 is working to deliver 300 women’s hygiene kits to girls in other countries.
It’s been an eventful year for Girl Scout Troop No. 89.
The troop, comprising 10 girls from Winter Park and Maitland, have been hard at work since last spring to achieve one specific goal: receiving the Silver Award. It’s a prestigious award that requires a sizable amount of work that benefits their community and is the highest award Girl Scout Cadettes can achieve.
That’s one thing Troop 89 has covered. The group has raised more than $1,700 since last spring to supply young women in other countries with women’s hygiene kits. It’s been a considerable amount of work that their troop leader, Janet Young, is happy to say has paid off. The girls reached their fundraising goal in March.
The Girl Scout’s Silver Award is eligible for scout troops in sixth, seventh and eighth grade. Troop 89 made the plans for the women’s hygiene project when they entered sixth grade and have been working toward it ever since. Scouts must perform something service related with a massive impact and, to that end, Young discovered the Days for Girls organization that supplies menstrual supplies to girls coming of age across the world, particularly in Africa.
“Many of the girls this organization benefits are the same age as (the scouts), the middle-school age” Young said. “Most of the girls in that range are starting their period for the first time.”
The troop has been raising funds to acquire supplies for the Days for Girls “Portable Object of Dignity” reusable kit, which contains washcloth, soap, spare underwear, menstrual products and more. The kits can last three months to a year, according to Young.
Cadette Troop 89 decided to aim big and collect materials for 300 POD kits, something Young thought would be too difficult to achieve at first. Eventually, that changed.
“It’s really great but it’s a lot of work,” she said. “One kit can cost upwards of $20.”
The troop split into groups to raise the money and materials to gather up the kits. Through a series of community donations, church material drives and aggressive cookie-selling — Young says they tripled their cookie sales through additional booth shifts and a car-dealership endorsement — the troop has slowly amassed the funds and materials they need to create their kits.
Young reached out to the Lake County Detention Center to have its textile program receive the scouts’ cloth and fabric and help create the POD kits. Some of the scouts write letters of encouragement to the inmates who help make the kits.
The troop wrapped up fundraising in March with $1,700 and enough materials for their kits.
“It was a real testament to the girls’ hard work,” Young said. “They’re getting older, and it’s such a beautiful thing to see they know how to manage their own time, they know how to put something that’s important first, and they knew what was going to be happening. The girls weren’t keeping track (of the amount raised); they were just working hard. When I told them how much we made, it was such a proud moment for me. But it was all them, it truly was fantastic.”
Young and her troop plan to distribute the kits and materials over the following year and present their project to receive the Silver Award next year.
Portable Object of Dignity Kit Items
1 small soap
1 gallon-size freezer bag
2 pairs of panties (size 10-14)
2 Ziploc plastic bags