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Girl Scout Silver Award: The Silver Smile, Project Tray Favors

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Submitted by Jessica Rumsey

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch

Our Silver Award was one that could hardly be tracked. We didn’t help one particular person, but strangers we will probably never meet. It sprouted to something bigger than our imaginations could take us, and now that we have come to the end of our journey together it’s a bittersweet moment because while stress is gone, so is a weird form of bonding that connected the three of us together, Rachael, Jennifer, and Jessica. We worked on the project together, and stayed on the same page even as our ideas were altered, and original plans took large twists and turns.

We knew from the start we wanted to work with the elderly, so we toured local senior living homes that posed as a potential base for the something bigger that was going to be created. This landed us with Someren Glen, a local home in Centennial, Colorado. We explored many different options, and finally landed with working with seniors to provide tray favors for a non-profit organization called TLC Meals on Wheels. Along with this, out of gratitude and to lend a helping hand we replanted the garden that once thrived in their courtyard. Now of course, this took funding. We contemplated many different options, and landed on a bake sale. So after baking for half a day we set up a booth and Jennifer sold our goods at an elementary school play.

At our first venture to work with the seniors at Someren Glen we asked residents to come help plant the garden, but unfortunately did not gather a large crowd. Our next organized event was to work with the seniors while making the tray favors, so we set up outside the dining hall, and got to work. While some people came here and there, our participants were far from what we wanted. We ended up making the 60 boxes filled with confetti, mints, and origami stars, sitting in the center of the home, working alongside no other than the girls in our troop and the volunteer coordinator. After this we veered off from our original plan, and went to something bigger than ourselves.

Dropping off the 60 boxes to the Meals on Wheels organization, reality hit us. Talking to the director and staff we learned that each tray favor should be made in quantities of 400, and they are needed for almost every holiday throughout the year. Now with three of us this number seemed far from reach, yet somehow we managed to make it through. As for making them for every holiday, we teamed up with Old Navy, Lone Tree and other Girl Scout troops to keep the kindness moving forward, and sustain our project. This project may have been stressful and time consuming, but we know that we made a huge difference in many people’s lives, and that makes everything worth it.

If you are working on a Highest Award, our advice to you is to keep going, and be persistent. Ideas may differ and you may not always agree on how to achieve your goal. The workload is high and at times so is the stress level. It feels as if the finish line is miles away and yet, we managed to get there. In the end the rewards are great, the knowledge and experience we’ve gained unmeasurable. So our advice…never stop trying, the journey is worth it.

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