By Shana LiVIGNI
When the first graders of Daisy Troop 15741 first learned earlier this year that they would be able to sell Girl Scout cookies – a fundraising staple for any troop – they were understandably excited. These 12 first graders have been together for over a year since the troop first started and eagerly approached their family, friends and neighbors to make sales. Outfitted in their blue vests, they’d stand as a group in front of community retail businesses inviting passers-by to buy a box. At the end of the cookie season, they had sold 1,702 boxes and raised $400.
With its newfound funds, the Daisy Troop explored options on how to spend their money. Troop Leader Deborah Parker works at a litigation firm and for the last few years her firm has sponsored a family through Los Angeles County Social Services. This gave her an idea of a possible project for her troop.
“My office manager contacted the county on behalf of the troop and found little 8-year-old Heidy,” Parker said. “She is one of five children who were taken from her parents and is being raised by her grandparents who are also supporting Heidy’s younger cousins and aunt.” The Daisies were not given all the details of Heidy’s difficult situation, but they were told that she couldn’t live with her parents anymore and needed help with school supplies and clothes.
Elaine Godby is a fulltime mom, Daisy troop mom and a clothing designer by trade. “It was my honor to be a small part of this grand project for Heidy and her family. With some tips from a friend who loves bargains, I was able to shop for clothes and the other essentials at stores that had great prices,” said Godby who enthusiastically took part in the Heidy project. “It was a mission of mine to get the most we could for her. We found a new bicycle, helmet and bike lock for a great deal. We even found some extras like a bathing suit, beach towel and water shoes for summer.”
After purchasing everything on Heidy’s wish list, including school clothes and supplies, there was still $100 left over which the troop used to purchase a gift card for Ralph’s Market. Heidy and her family were presented with all the gifts last Thursday, but they were not the only ones so positively affected.
Daisy first grader Holly Smith summed up her feelings. “This made me feel happy to be able to help Heidy because I like to help people. Heidy does not have some of the stuff that the girls in my troop have so it feels nice to share with her. All children need to have special things. It makes your heart feel warm!”
Fellow Daisy Teagan Godby and her mom Elaine went on shopping outings to buy things for Heidy. “Teagan picked up a pink hand mirror and asked if we could get it for Heidy. I asked why and she said, ‘So Heidy can see how special she is and see herself in her new things,” said Elaine. “I thought that was pretty special, so we got the mirror.”
With the final funds from cookie sales, the troop plans to go to a live theater production and to fund a family dinner to celebrate their bridging to Brownies.
The Daisies will sell cookies again next year and plan to raise more money to help Heidy and her family. .