Local Girl Scout troop works with animal shelter for Silver Award | Commentary

Peggy Noll from Homeward Pet Adoption Center poses for a photo with Troop 40908 Girl Scouts Grace Gordon, Ffion Mabale, Sarah Vincent and Karissa Fahsholtz. Courtesy photo

We are Troop 40908, made up of four third-year Cadettes, Karissa Fahsholtz (Kirkland), Grace Gordon (Bothell), Ffion Mabale (Kenmore) and Sarah Vincent (Redmond).

Being third-year Cadettes, we took on the challenge of earning our Silver Award, the second-highest award a Girl Scout can earn. For a Cadette to earn a Silver Award, they must leave a lasting change in the community by targeting the root cause of a problem and devising a sustainable plan to change it.

For our Silver Award, we decided to help out the cats and dogs at Homeward Pet Adoption Center in Woodinville. We picked Homeward because they are a no-kill, non-profit animal shelter.

We started by taking a tour of their facility to get a better understanding of how they take care of their animals and how their facility is set up. They told us that they are always welcoming donations, whether that’s cleaning supplies for the building or food and treats for the animals.

Using $100 from the previous year’s cookie sales, we went to Costco and bought needed items that we later donated to Homeward. When we went back to donate the items, we saw fleece handmade blankets that the animals were enjoying; this inspired us to make our own. In our troop, we made around 40 hand-tied fleece blankets.

We realized that, while these blankets put a smile on the workers’ faces, our donation could never match the constant need of the growing number of new animals. We teamed up with a younger troop and taught them how to make the blankets in hopes of them continuing the giving tradition all while making our project sustainable.

The next step we took was contacting Denny’s Pet World, a local pet store in Kirkland. We asked them if they would be interested in helping us earn our Silver Award by giving us a spot to set up a donation table where people that were already buying items for their own pets could donate to our cause. In the end, not only did customers donate generous amounts of items, Denny’s Pet World also gave us the gracious surprise of two carts full of merchandise, adding up to a whopping $4,000 and over 250 supplies that we donated to Homeward.

We plan, in the near future, to set up an animal visit from Homeward to a local assisted living home and another donation drive at Denny’s Pet World to bring our total project hours to 50.

We’ve learned that giving back to the community is both educational and personally rewarding.

Girl Scout Troop 40908 (Karissa Fahsholtz, Grace Gordon, Ffion Mabale and Sarah Vincent)