Members of Girl Scout troop 30370 are doing their part to help young girls living in the impoverished West African nation of Liberia.
The nine Girl Scouts, all aged 11-12, have spent this holiday season collecting money and supplies for Operation Pillowcase Dresses — a regional Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia service project.
“Our goal is to make 40 pillowcase dresses to give to girls in Liberia who are in need of them,” explained troop leader Jennifer Collins.
The Girl Scouts raised the money to purchase materials by wrapping gifts for donations at the Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce’s Holiday Market in December.
Using new pillowcases, ribbons, thread and elastic, they spent two afternoons making the small dresses assembly-line-style. Troop leaders and adult volunteers manned the sewing machines.
“I never knew you could make pillowcases into dresses,” said 11-year-old Girl Scout Casey Wood. “They’re cute, and it’s so easy. Anybody could do it.”
Caroline Adamski, 12, said the project is fun, and it’s in line with the Girl Scouts’ mission.
“I think we’re helping make the world a better place. These girls need new clothes, and I think they’ll like the dresses because they’re kind of cute and nicer than what they have,” she said.
Collins said the project is intended to teach the Girl Scouts about their less fortunate counterparts around the world.
“We want them to understand that there are girls in other countries that are underprivileged and need clothing,” she said. “This is a way they can do something to help those girls out.”
For 12-year-old Calie Peterson, Operation Pillowcase Dresses hit its mark.
“This has kind of changed me as a person,” she said. “It’s making us better, because we’re helping other people who need help, even though we don’t know them.”
The final products will be collected at the Girl Scouts’ Thinking Day celebration Feb. 9 at Carver Elementary School and sent with other troops’ dresses to Liberian families struggling in the aftermath of civil war.
World Thinking Day is a World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts initiative aimed at educating girls around the world about different cultures and global issues — like poverty and child mortality.
Nineteen Richmond Hill Girl Scout troops will celebrate the holiday from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Carver with international displays, food and dress. The event is open to the public.
To donate supplies or handcrafted pillowcase dresses to troop 30370, email Jennifer Collins at email@example.com.
For more information about area Girl Scout Programs, visit www.gshg.org.