When local Girl Scout Troop 961 was looking for a community service project for this holiday season, one particular charitable organization came to mind. Members from the troop had volunteered for Talbot Interfaith Shelter’s Long Walk Home Family Fun Walk in October, and they were eager to continue helping the shelter and transitional housing program. They decided to do a supply drive.
“This year we chose the Interfaith Shelter because they help local people with other things and teach skills besides just the usual food drives and soup kitchens that charities usually have around the holidays,” said Troop Leader Theresa Plog.
The troop, co-led by Plog and Casey Andrews, is based out of St. Michaels and has 26 members, ranging in age from kindergarten to seventh grade. They reached out to TIS’ Marketing and Development Director Jayme Dingler in November to find out if there was anything in particular the organization needed. She provided them with a list of household essentials, including paper towels and toilet paper, laundry and dish detergent, baggies of all sizes, snacks to put in a bag lunch, and more.
The girls made and distributed flyers asking neighbors, friends and family to help donate items from the list and then collected the items. A group of scouts then delivered the haul to TIS’ shelter facility at Easton’s Promise on December 19th. While at the shelter, Dingler and Executive Director Julie Lowe met with them and talked to them about how the organization’s S4 Program works and answered any questions they had.
“We love to see what local kids can accomplish when they are on a mission,” says Dingler. “We are always impressed by the finished product, and this was no exception. It was obvious that the girls took this very seriously and worked really hard to collect as much as possible. We are both grateful for the supply infusion and gratified to see young people who want to make a difference in our community.”
Many of the girls who gathered donations were unable to make it to the shelter to deliver them, but one of the scouts, Ruby Fisher, said, “That’s ok. I enjoyed making the holiday brighter for others.”
Talbot Interfaith Shelter (TIS) is a 501(c)3 organization based in Easton and serving Talbot County and the surrounding areas. The organization has developed a program that they call S4 (Shelter, Stability, Support, Success), which is designed to give guests access to a stable homelike environment, services, and tools that can help them break the cycle of poverty and homelessness and regain their independence.
Their vision is that no one in Talbot County will ever have to spend a night on the streets, in a car or in the woods because he or she cannot find housing. To learn more about how you can help, visit www.talbotinterfaithshelter.org or contact Julie Lowe at 410-310-2316 or [email protected].