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GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Rachel Schneider, Fort Collins, “Pill-O-Cases”


Rachel Schneider pic

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I addressed the physical comfort of those in the hospital. I hoped to make them feel a little more at home while sick or injured by providing a Pill-O-Case. In the end, 600 patients benefited from my Girl Scout Gold Award project.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

The root cause of this issue is that people get sick and people get hurt. I can’t solve that problem, but I can make them feel a little more comfortable. Hospitals must be sterile and efficient. It is not realistic to provide high quality linens. By making these Pill-O-Cases, my team has helped the hospitals out.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

I hope the patients simply feel better and  they feel like a stranger cared enough about their fear to try and ease it. I was able to deliver to patients at the hospitals in Pueblo, Co. I was so excited to visit with them and see their smiles. I saw on their faces how much joy these Pill-O-Cases brought. The hugs and conversations were so fulfilling.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I think this helped me gain confidence in myself. I will be more willing to tackle ever bigger issues in the future. I plan on continuing to make my Pill-O-Cases. I have always felt like service is important. I now believe it is my job to tell others just how important it is. At the completion of 2013, I was 800 hours short of 4,000 lifetime. It is my goal to have 4,000 community service hours by my 16th birthday. This resolve is a result of how successful I feel my project was.

How did you make your project sustainable?

My Facebook page is a great resource for those wanting to duplicate my project. I have also created a resource book that has all the directions for this project. I plan on sending those books to hospitals that have expressed interest. I have also reached out to local sewing groups that are going to house my book in their libraries. A copy on my book will also be given to Girl Scouts of Colorado.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

I hope other organizations will take my resource book and make even more pillowcases. I know of three groups already doing that in Illinois, Colorado Springs, and California. I was surprised at just how many people wanted to help me. People I had never met showed up and gave of themselves. I think that the community service of others was the largest success. Yeah, 600 pillowcases is a great accomplishment, but hours upon hours of people giving their time is a greater accomplishment.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I won’t know how I affected all 600 patients, but I know I inspired people to take action. I had young and old, men and women helping me. I know they learned the skill of sewing because we successfully made 600 Pill-O-Cases. I know I inspired them because I was was asked to and continue being asked to present my project to local groups.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

I learned to identify and use the resources available in my community, like the sewing guilds. I encouraged people of all ages and abilities to help. I liked having a positive impact on my community, but felt even better about the impact in other communities as a result of my project. It amazes me that troops in other states are duplicating my project. I learned that despite the challenges I have, I can to plan and execute a large scale service project. This will help me have confidence in my abilities in the futures. I learned to identify and ask groups for help.

Why do you feel the Gold Award is an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

I identified a solution to the physical comfort of those who are sick or hurt. I taught large groups of people how to make a Pill-O-Case. I continue to feel empowered to make a difference and will continue working on these Pill-O-Cases. Such skills and knowledge are necessary in life. I will always be a volunteer, a champion serving my community. That is a lifelong mission that has been fostered by Girl Scouts and all the service awards.

***IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

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