Thinking of our Sisters in the Philippines: A Note from our CEO
Dear Sister Girl Scouts:
I imagine many of you have seen the news and the pictures of the devastation in the Philippines. Did you know many of our sister Girl Scouts have been impacted. As Girl Scouts, we want to help! The best way for us to join together to truly make a difference is to raise money for the relief efforts. Super Kristi has suggestions for you. We will send all of our funds together so Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona show we care!
When hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, and other disasters strike, a Girl Scout’s first thought is, “How can I help?” It’s important to have a thoughtful plan so that you can give people what they really need during a stressful and scary time. People often immediately send clothing and cans of food to disaster areas. They want to help, but all that stuff may not be what people need—and relief workers say that it often gets in the way of what they’re trying to do. Our thoughts are with all of our sister scouts in the Philippines as they face this scary time together.
To Help Victims of Disasters…
Girl Scouts of the USA recommends the following: Give money to meet the needs of disaster victims. GSUSA has lifted the restrictions on troop fundraising, so you can donate money to the affected councils. At this time, donations can go directly to the councils or to the Girl Scouts of the USA to be distributed to the councils.
Act Like a Philanthropist
If you decide to raise money on behalf of impacted councils, you’re acting like a philanthropist! A philanthropist makes sure people have what they need by giving their own money or raising money from others. If you want to learn how to be a philanthropist by donating money to Girl Scout councils affected by disasters, follow these steps:
- A philanthropist always knows why money is needed and can communicate the need to others. So before you start raising funds for one of the impacted Girl Scout councils, imagine a girl your age who lives in an area the storm has hit hard. Maybe your family no longer has a home…maybe your Girl Scout group has no place to meet right now…maybe the camp you love has been damaged. What would that feel like?
- Read newspaper articles or watch television reports about the impacted areas. Why do people need help—have they lost homes, power, heat?
- What is the Girl Scouting mission? How does Girl Scouting encourage a sense of sisterhood? Now check out the websites of the Girl Scout councils. Why is it important to you to raise money to benefit Girl Scouting in those areas?
- Now think about how you can tell this story when you fundraise. Why is it important for people to help Girl Scouting continue in the impacted areas? Get started on your story by completing the sentences below.
- Finally, brainstorm ways to thank people who donate money. Philanthropists always do that too!
Educate And Prepare Yourself And Others For Disasters–Think ahead and be ready!
Leaders always try to think ahead—and it’s important to be ready before a disaster strikes! Guess what? When you prepare ahead and educate others to do the same, you are contributing to the country’s emergency-response system. So, harness your energy after this disaster to do what you can in your region.
- You and your family can make a plan for stockpiling emergency supplies, communicating with one another if you’re separated, and how and when to evacuate if necessary.
- You can develop and lead workshops to help other families prepare, or create a booklet or video to share information with a wider audience.
- You can find out how your community has already prepared—and where there are worries. Does a shelter need a stockpile of hygiene kits to hand out when there’s a disaster? Does a hospital or nursery school need assistance with evacuation identification cards? Does a school need volunteers to practice safety drills with younger students?
- Attend our Zombie Disaster Preparedness event on December 7th – As it turns out, if you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a natural disaster, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack. Topics covered will be along the lines of rescue, prevention, sheltering, and response to help girls prepare for a future disaster. As part of the program each girl will also be putting together an emergency backpack that they can take home and have available for their family.
For questions on how your troop can help or if you need ideas on how to talk to your girls about disaster scenarios, contact Kristi Pallack at firstname.lastname@example.org.