MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA—Girl Scouts make the world a better place - through helping others, supporting their communities and volunteering their time.
In partnership with local hospitals, Girl Scouts are able to give back in all three ways as part of the new "Hospital Helpers" program.
Hospital Helpers is a new community service project co-developed and sponsored by the West Virginia University School of Public Health that enables Girl Scouts to collect and donate items in need to health care systems, along with notes of well wishes to children who are spending time in the hospital.
"Our goal is to not only brighten the day of a child who is sick or hurt, but this initiative will teach Girl Scouts about empathy, compassion and the power of giving back to other children," said Beth Casey, CEO of Girl Scouts of Black Diamond.
"This cultivates a spirit of generosity and thankfulness and will create girls who are more likely to volunteer again in the future. Our Girl Scouts will also be exposed to potential career opportunities in the health care field in their own communities."
Girl Scouts who participate in the Hospital Helpers Service Project, which was developed in part by students in the School of Public Health as part of their service-learning experience, will work together to identify local hospitals willing to accept donations for children in their care. They may donate toys, personal care items, blankets, books, games or other recommendations from the participating hospital. Girl Scouts who complete the project will earn the Hospital Helpers patch, funded by the WVU School of Public Health.
“We are honored that our students were able to fulfill such a significant role in the development of this unique program—and equally honored to support the project’s implementation,” said Jeff Coben, MD, dean of the WVU School of Public Health.
“Community-based service learning is a cornerstone of the student experience in the School of Public Health, so this project, along with our partnership with the Girl Scouts, is a wonderful complement to what we already do. And it’s especially heartening to know that it will serve as a source of encouragement to a recovering child in the hospital.”
To learn more about Girl Scouts, visit www.bdgsc.org.