We are Girl Scout Seniors from Brookfield and LaGrange, and recently we discovered the value and self-satisfaction of helping others even if we have never met. The four of us found this out first-hand when we went to Operation Care Package in Joliet. The folks at OCP are dedicated volunteers on a mission to supply the comforts of home to military personnel on deployment. We packed toiletries, candy and complete care packages to be sent to military personnel around the world in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.
The experience was very enlightening and helped us realize how lucky we truly are. And the ability to help the people who protect us and fight for our country and the freedom of others is gratifying. Giving back to these brave men and women seemed like the logical thing to do.
Many of our Girl Scout programs award us patches for projects accomplished. But by us helping out the military, it made patches seem less significant than helping others and making a real difference for someone else.
We imagined a soldier coming back from a long day on patrol and arriving back at camp to find a care package from home. We know they must appreciate that someone truly cares about them and what they are doing for their country. Aside from the candy and toiletries, each person received a magazine, cards, a movie, socks, canned fruit, paper, pens and envelopes along with cards and letters from appreciative citizens back home.
So why should you get involved? Of course you will receive the usual patch, but you will gain the experience and satisfaction of helping others. Imagine the children in some war-torn country, then imagine yourself, safe in your bed…who is ensuring that safety? The brave men and women of the United States military. The question is not should you get involved, but why wouldn’t you?
-Amber B., Brianna H., Anastasia Q. and Elizabeth S., Girl Scout Troop 58157