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Aid Refugees with

Packs of Love

for Ukrainian Children

Girl Scouts step up in times of disaster or crisis to help people in need. A group of volunteers from our council has identified a way for troops and families to provide needed supplies for refugees from the Ukraine through "Packs of Love for Ukrainian Children." They are asking service units, troops, and volunteers to fill backpacks with items desperately needed by the children. They are partnering with several churches and other facilities that will accept the filled backpacks for shipment. Our members are invited to start the project as of now and continue until June 15.

Here’s what to do:

  • Collect new or used child-sized backpacks (no drawstring bags) as a Service Unit or as a troop.
  • Collect the list of attached items (new only) needed by refugee children.
  • Fill the backpacks with 1 of each item.
  • Apply a tag to the backpack that indicates its contents, so the shipper knows what it contains. Download tag here.
  • Put backpacks in UNSEALED boxes (this will make it easier on those shipping the backpacks).
  • Take the backpacks to one of the sites accepting donations for Ukraine.

There is an opportunity for service units, troops, or individuals to make donations at the drop-off site. Although this is NOT necessary, it will help to ease the financial burden on each site that is providing shipping. It costs $2 per pound to ship overseas.

Items to Include in the Packs of Love for Ukrainian Children

Please try to put one of each item into the backpack. We want the backpacks to be as uniform as possible. For shipping purposes, include a list attached to the outside of the backpack, so the shipper knows what it contains; see tag below. Include the gender and age range on the tag. The tags can be printed on shipping labels or on paper that is taped on to the backpack. Try to keep the backpacks as light as possible. They don’t need to be totally stuffed.

  • Child Sized Backpack (Please, no drawstring bags)
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Bar Soap in Travel Soap Holder
  • Wash Cloth & Hand Towel in Zip Lock Bag
  • Comb and/or Hairbrush
  • Socks
  • Soft Blanket
  • Refillable Water Bottle
  • Small LED Flashlight
  • Package of 8-16 Crayons OR a package of 8 Markers
  • Coloring Book or Small Pad of Drawing Paper
  • Small Plush Animal, no larger than a Beanie Baby, placed in zip lock bag with a poem attached to the bag
  • Small Bag of Hard Candy, such as Werther’s or Life Savers
  • Card - see instructions below

Card Instructions

Each backpack should include a card for the recipient. The card can be either handmade, computer-generated, or purchased. What’s important is that a message of hope and caring be incorporated somewhere on the card. There are plenty of graphics of the Ukrainian Flag and sunflowers (their national flower) online.

Also, when signing the card, please be sure that the girl indicates she is a Girl Scout and her troop number. For girls who are a little older, they should also put the Council’s name on the card, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, so the recipients know where the backpacks originated.

Another option would be for the leader, especially for a troop of younger girls, to generate a computer message that the girls can paste onto the card. And just so you know, Microsoft does have Ukrainian in its “Translate Selected Text”, which is under “Review” on the tool bar.

How to Assemble the Backpack

Large pocket

  1. Blanket
  2. Wash Cloth, Hand Towel, and   Socks in Zip Lock Bag
  3. Art Supplies: coloring book with crayons or sketch pad with markers or colored pencils
  4. Flashlight
  5. Small Plush Animal in Zip Lock
  6. Bag of Candy     
  7. Card

Front pocket      

  1. Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  2. Comb and/or Hair Brush  
  3. Bar Soap in Travel Soap Holder

Side pocket

  1. Refillable water bottle

ITEM CHECKLIST

TAGS

HOW TO ORGANIZE ITEMS FOR BACKPACK ASSEMBLY

Ideas of Ways to Collect the Items Needed for the Backpacks
  • Find a local venue where the troop or service unit can hold a collection day. Advertise in the local newspaper or through social media the day and time of the collection and the list of items needed.
  • Ask local businesses or public venues (such as libraries and community centers) to place collection boxes in their facilities. Advertise in the local papers or through social media where the collection boxes are located and what items are needed to fill the backpacks. Be sure a starting and ending date is included.
  • Ask the houses of worship to put the information in their weekly bulletins and place a collection box at their locations. Be sure a starting and ending date for the collection is included.
  • Make a flier describing the project, the items needed, and the date for the collection.  Have the girls distribute the fliers in their neighborhoods one weekend and return to collect the items the following week. Anyone donating can just leave the items in a bag at the front door on collection day.
  • Ask local businesses who sell any of the needed items to donate to the cause. You might be surprised at how willing some businesses are to help!

Once the troop or service unit has collected the items, hold a “Packs of Love” assembly event with the girls. If you have more items than needed for the number of backpacks you’ve collected, box those items up separately. They can still be sent to the refugees to be used by anyone who needs these supplies.

Drop Off Sites*
Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church
8410 131st St.
Palos Park, IL 60464
708-361-5165
St. George Ukrainian Orthodox Church 
1740 Rand Road
Des Plaines, IL 60016
847-345-3038

**ONLY these two F45 Studios are accepting the backpacks;  please do NOT try to drop them off at other F45 locations.

F45 Training Studio Hours at both locations:
11047 W Lincoln Hwy,
Frankfort, IL 60423
Call or Text Matthew Banchak at 708-341-6271 before drop off
5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
948 N Northwest Hwy,
Park Ridge, IL 60068
Call or Text Matthew Banchak at 708-341-6271 before drop off
Meest Karpaty Shipping Company
This site is closed to further donations
Hammond Family Y (Starting May 1)
7322 Southeastern Ave.
Hammond, IN 46324
Contact Jodi Firchau at 708-825-3440 for drop off times
Society of Danube Swabians Hours and locations:
625 E. Seegers Road,
Des Plaines, IL 60016
Saturday, June 11, 2022 from 10am-2pm only

*Please continue to check the website, as additional drop off locations may be added.

Other Ideas of Ways to Show Support for Ukraine

Before you do any of the projects, including assembling the Packs of Love backpacks, it would be a good idea to discuss with the girls what it means to be a refugee. Even our Daisies can understand how difficult it would be for anyone who must leave their home because it is no longer safe. Our girls now can show children in another country how much they are being thought of and how much they are loved.

  • Find out if the troop would like to use some of their cookie money to help purchase items for the Packs of Love by taking an anonymous vote.
  • Make paper Ukrainian flags at your troop meeting that can be place in windows.
  • Plant sunflower seeds at your meeting place, a park, or other public venue. (Be sure to get permission before planting the flower seeds in public areas)

Paint small rocks with messages of love, hope, and peace at your troop meeting, and place them in areas in your community where people can see them.

Order the Patch Online

You can order the Packs of Love patch online at www.shopgirlscoutsgcnwi.org


 


Thank you for participating in the Packs of Love program! To help us track the program participation, please answer a few questions below.

Click Here

Thank you to a volunteer committee, headed by Karen Schillings, for putting this service project together. You can reach the committee directly for questions by emailing projectsupport@girlscoutsgcnwi.org