Volunteering This Season
By Kristi Pallack
‘Tis the season of giving, and with Girl Scouts around, there is never a shortage of gifts. Our girls have been busy in the community this month doing everything in their power to help others share in the holiday spirit. Troops have been busy gathering stockings and toys to donate to the Ronald McDonald House, collecting food for family food baskets, doing book drives, caroling at senior living facilities, and creating handmade cards for military troops overseas. Inspired by our girls, Girl Scout staffers have been out and about spreading holiday cheer as well. Here’s a roundup of the awesome volunteering I discovered this morning.
Kat Salthouse, STEM Coordinator, volunteers on the Foster Care Review Board each month. “It’s important to me to give kids a voice,” she said. “There was one mom this month who was so excited that she would get to see her kids for Christmas, and I got to help make that happen.”
Monica Leon, Social Justice Specialist, wants to volunteer at a soup kitchen over the holiday break. Monica explained that even though they didn’t have a lot when she was growing up, they always had the best Christmases. She’s excited that she now has the opportunity to make that happen for others, and gives back whenever she can.
Emily Steinberg, Membership Specialist, has been volunteering with Pima Animal Care this month. “I like dogs! They make me feel so good,” she said. Emily helped walk shelter dogs, giving them a great workout, and helping with healthy socialization. She also said that she rubbed a lot of dog bellies!
Kristen Hernandez, Chief Operating Officer, volunteered at the 4th Avenue Street Fair this past weekend with Pantano Rotary. “We’ve been recipients of grant money from Pantano Rotary before, and I’m just paying it forward. It’s important to me to be supportive of those who are supportive to us and other local charities.”
Lesley Rich, Social Justice Manager, volunteers at the Crisis Shelter with her dog Molly. The duo hangs out with the kids, allowing them to make connections, feel more at home, and less at stress by playing with Molly. The adults at the shelter also appreciate their visits. Lesley and Molly participate in the therapy dog program through Gabriel’s Angels.
As I was wandering around this morning pretending to give interviews, I discovered that as a staff, we volunteer at over 40 different organizations throughout Southern Arizona, and most of us will be volunteering over the holiday break. How are you and your girls giving back to your community this year? Sound off in the comments and on our Facebook page.
Shameless donation plug: If you don’t necessarily have time to volunteer over the holiday break, why not give the gift of Girl Scouting? Just $15 dollars allows one girl to participate in the largest girl leadership program in the world. Now THAT’S an awesome gift! Donate here.