New Market, Mt. Jackson Daisies, Brownies sponsor seven area families in holiday project
By Kaitlin Mayhew -- firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW MARKET -- Six-year-old Kelly Stickley has only been a member of the New Market-Mt. Jackson Girl Scouts for two weeks, but she knew the reason her troop was stuffing stockings at Thursday night's meeting.
"To help all the people," she said.
Stickley's Troop 40769, which is made up of both Daisy and Brownie Scouts -- first- and second-graders -- participated in a yearlong Christmas gift drive for the first time this year.
Sherri Braithwaite, who's daughter, Jocelyn, is a member of the troop, came up with the idea after participating in "The Big Give" drive in Fishersville last year.
"We helped over 10,000 people, and it made me think 'What about the people in our community?'" she said.
She and the troop leader, as well as other Girl Scout parents, were trying to come up with a community service project for the girls, and Braithwaite thought this drive would be a perfect fit.
Braithwaite worked with many local businesses throughout the year who donated food and supplies to the cause.
The troop sponsored seven families with a total of 18 children, and gathered everything they would need for their Christmas holiday from toys for presents, coats and gloves and "everything at comes in a Christmas dinner," including a turkey.
A lot of the food was donated from businesses in the area, including Food Lion in Mt. Jackson, Wholesome Foods in Edinburg, and Cracker Barrel in Woodstock. The Old Navy store in Harrisonburg also donated some of the clothing. Other donations came from the members' families and friends.
"I think really teaching [the girls] the true meaning of Christmas and serving these people in their local community is really important," Braithwaite said.
Today, the Girl Scouts as well as many of their parents will be delivering the supplies directly to the homes of the families.
"A lot of the families don't have cars or gas money to get to social services, so we're going to them," she said.
Grace Morris, 7, who has been a Girl Scout for three years, said she is excited to start delivering today.
"We love giving presents," she said.
Emma Davis, 8, who is in her second year as a member of the troop, said she likes being able to help people as a Girl Scout, and plans to continue as one for a long time.
"[The donations] are for kids who are in need and who don't get presents at Christmas," she said. "I love giving stuff to people in need."