Daisies for Daisy’s Circle

Spotlighting Some of Our Youngest Philanthropists – GS Troop 4350

Spend. Save. Give. Three simple words that start financial literacy education in young Girl Scouts. When these lessons turn into action, it creates real change and a sense of accomplishment for girls. Meet Girl Scout Daisy Troop 4350, our newest Daisy’s Circle troop! These powerful little philanthropists decided to give back to fellow Girl Scouts after talking to Kara Lineweber, Donor Relations Manager for GSKSMO. As leader Amanda said, “once they talked to Kara, the vote was unanimous to give to Daisy’s Circle with part of their cookie proceeds.”

Troop 4350’s awesome first year of Girl Scouting!

Troop 4350 is just in their second year and hit the fast forward button to catch up to other troops. They started meeting in March of 2017 and decided to hold meetings throughout the summer and twice per week to earn all 10 petals. They also fit in camping twice per year and more activities to keep the troop active and learning all they can handle!

Troop 4350’s badge station and some fun troop time together!

It was during the lesson for the “Talk It Up Leaf” that troop leader Amanda Boyers had Kara come in and talk to the girls about philanthropy. Amanda talked to them about how they helped hurricane victims, the homeless and animals, and asked how they felt about helping sister Girl Scouts through Daisy’s Circle. That’s when it all came together, the girls voiced their decision to support fellow Girl Scouts and they received their own Daisy’s Circle pins.

As Girl Scout Daisy Joye said, “I like to help other Girl Scouts like me.” She proudly held up her pin, smiling as she talked about it. Troop member Phoebe said her favorite thing about Girl Scouts is camp, so she liked helping other girls get to camp too. “[Being a Girl Scout means] I help people, so this is how I can help other Girl Scouts,” Phoebe said.

 

Troop 4350 Girl Scouts Ruby (left), Joye (center) & Phoebe (right)!

Through the experience of giving back through financial gifts as well as time and service, these young Daisies are learning the fundamentals of the Girl Scout program. As Girl Scout Daisy, Ruby said “to be a Girl Scout, you have to be nice, kind and polite.” Learning to give back is certainly a great way to learn to be those things!

So many life experiences, so much fun – that’s what makes Girl Scouting so very special. On top of all the amazing skills girls learn and opportunities they have, troop leader Amanda sees the power in Girl Scouting as a family affair as much as it is beneficial for the girls. “It’s a great way for mothers and daughters alike to form relationships with peers as the troop continues to mature. It’s an opportunity for girls to have ownership both financially and in the decision making. I can’t think of another extracurricular activity that can provide this unique combination,” Amanda said.

 We can’t thank Troop 4350 and their leader enough for their support of Daisy’s Circle. By giving back, they’re helping empower sister Girl Scouts right here in their community. If you’d like to learn more about this giving program, visit www.daisyscircle.org or contact Kara Lineweber at klineweber@gsksmo.org to get started!

An Alum who Inspires Girls to Blaze New Trails

Meet Daisy’s Circle Trailblazer & GS Alum Michele Pritchard

When Michele Pritchard was in 2nd grade, she joined an organization that would change her life – Girl Scouts. Looking for a place to have more outdoor experiences, Michele discovered more than a group of girls to explore nature with – she found a sisterhood that inspired her passion. This awesome Gold Award alum is also a proud member of Daisy’s Circle Trailblazers, continuing to support the organization that helped shape who she is today.

Growing up in Buffalo, NY, Michele had some pretty amazing experiences thanks to Girl Scouts. She learned about Native American culture, medicinal uses of things like tree bark, camping skills and more that filled her desire to explore. But it didn’t stop there. Michele also learned to code, earning a badge in it, with her dad leading the programming the troop participated in!

“It was so fun to accomplish one of those badges because you came out with such a great understanding of whatever topic the badge covered. That exposure, that exploration girls get…I think that’s why it’s so important for people to continue support Girl Scouts,” Michele said.

These early badge projects turned into a wonderful survey of all the career options available – something girls don’t always get in school. “Girl Scouts was career exploration for me,” Michele said.

In 1990, Michele turned her sights on the Gold Award and a problem right in her neighborhood. During a sidewalk renovation project, many trees in the area get severe damage to their root systems, which eventually caused them to die. Michele grew saplings and replanted them, filling the area with trees once again. “Hundreds of little trees in little pots all over my mom’s house!” Michele said.

Michele with the tree she planted in 1979, then got seeds from for her Gold Award project.

 In fact, the tree she got the seeds from to grow the others is still growing in her mom’s backyard! Not only did Michele make an impact on her neighborhood, she learned invaluable life skills and leadership qualities she uses in everyday life. “It was because of Girl Scouting that I discovered what my passions are and that helped drive my career choices as an adult,” Michele said.

As an Alum, Michele has turned her sights on supporting the next generation of Girl Scouts by becoming a proud member of Daisy’s Circle as a Trailblazer. “I want to support the program that helped me find out what my passions are,” Michele said. There are many ways to support organizations you care about and Michele has been able to find many ways to give.

“I give of my time, but it was also important to me to give financially too. You can’t rely on free volunteers for everything, so you have to have a funding source to help girls do everything they need to do in Girl Scouting to give them the upper hand,” Michele said. Thank you, Michele, for giving back to Girl Scouts and supporting the next generation of G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders) just like you!

To learn more about becoming a Daisy’s Circle Trailblazer, email KaraLineweber@gsksmo.org.

Girl Scouts Shine Bright

Spotlight on our 2018 Beth Winters Scholarship Recipients

Beth Winters was a passionate Girl Scout; she loved camping, traveling and was part of Girl Scouts of the USA’s “Leadership Today and Tomorrow” program as a girl member. Beth was the kind of person who wanted to know everything about everything and she attended the University of Missouri where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Journalism.

Just four years after graduating college, Beth was tragically killed in a car accident.

Upon her passing, Beth’s Mother Joyce Termini and brother Chip began thinking of ways to honor and remember her. With Beth’s passion for continuing education and her love of Girl Scouts, a scholarship for graduating Girl Scouts in seemed like the perfect fit. “This was exactly the right answer,” is how Joyce describes starting the scholarship in 1995.

Over the past 22 years, the Beth Winters Memorial Scholarship has provided 32 scholarships totaling more than $50,000 to Gold Award Girl Scouts from our council. This year, we were honored to recognize three Beth Winters Memorial Scholarship recipients at Inspire at Girl on April 14, 2018.

Emily Musembi, Joyce Termini, Isabella Barnes, Chloe Rothery and Chip Winters

Isabella Barnes

Isabella’s Gold Award project addressed lack of literacy and emphasis on fostering the love of learning in at-risk communities in Kansas City. Prior to the sessions, children would spend time on their phones during Harvesters-sponsored Kid’s Café, only to return to their computers after their meals. After observing a few sessions of Kid’s Café in the summer of 2016, Isabella realized that their time could be put to better use, and could be a catalyst for change.

Isabella worked with the Bluford Branch of the Kansas City Public Library and the Kid’s Café to plan and execute the interdisciplinary literacy outreach program using arts-based curriculum. These bi-monthly sessions will continue to happen and Isabella is currently training another youth facilitator!

 

Emily Musembi

Emily’s Gold Award project addressed the memory preservation and overall wellbeing for survivors of domestic abuse. In many situations, survivors have to leave quickly and cannot take personal items like scrapbooks, art and journals. This program provided them with art supplies to help them express themselves while recording memories and helping them start a new life. For children, the art supplies allowed them to create works of art that could help define their new spaces as “home.”

Emily worked with Synergy Services, local Girl Scouts and a teacher to gather supplies, share the program and plan the events. Her program will be made available to future coordinators who may want to recreate the project through instructions, a video and the supplies Emily donated. She learned to project manage, gather donations and lead a program through this process. She hopes that the project will be shared with other shelters and the video will inspire others to recreate the program. Through art, survivors can find healing and a way to begin a new life and record positive experiences that make wonderful memories and scrapbooks.

 

Chloe Rothery

Chloe’s Gold Award project addressed the lack of awareness about opportunities in science classes and career pathways at Liberty High School. Working with local 8th graders, Chloe set-up a fair for them to learn about the opportunities available in high school and spark excitement about science. She asked fellow high school students to set up booths and talk about their classes and future careers. Many included interactive displays and experiments.

Chloe worked with her high school and Liberty Middle School to coordinate the 8th grade attendees and the fair. Her fellow high school students loved sharing their love of science with the middle schoolers and she found that the excitement translated to the younger students as planned. While most answered “no” when asked if they’d considered a career in science when they arrived, a large number said “yes” by the time they left! She hopes that this excitement will encourage more students to go into sciences for their careers, leading to a more robust STEM pipeline in the future!

Thank you to Joyce, Chip and Beth’s friends and family for making this scholarship possible!

We are excited to announce that an additional scholarship will be available in 2019 for graduating Girl Scouts form our council! This new scholarship is being sponsored by Highest Award Alum and Lifetime Member, Connie Davis and more information will be available soon!

Read how the other 57 Gold Award Girl Scouts are making an impact on our community here!

Interested in learning more about how you can start a scholarship for Girl Scouts? Contact Vanessa Van Goethem-Piela at Vanessa@gsksmo.org or 816-759-3072.

For the Love of Girl Scouts

A Profile of Giving Back: Henderson Engineers

It takes a community to raise Girl Scouts and our friends at Henderson Engineers are doing their part to build a better future for girls! This amazing partnership began with a cookie recognition event where a Girl Scout dad saw camp needs and realized what a strong partnership Henderson Engineers could have with GSKSMO. Because of that partnership, Henderson has not only given financially to support the Outreach Program, but they’ve volunteered to make necessary repairs and updates to Camp Prairie Schooner!

Girl Scout dad, Jason Wollom took his Daisy daughter, Lily, to participate in an outdoor art program she received as part of Cookie Program. Because of her hard work, Lily had earned the event as a recognition for selling Girl Scout Cookies. While the Girl Scouts took the art class, parents were invited to take a quick tour of Camp Prairie Schooner with our Philanthropy department. Jason Wollom decided to go on the tour and immediately saw an opportunity.

During the visit, Jason was inspired by the incredible opportunities that camp provides and connected GSKSMO’s Melissa Ford with the Henderson Foundation, the philanthropic organization supported by Henderson Engineers. Since then, the Henderson Foundation has made amazing financial gifts to support girls in the Outreach Program and decided to involve their staff in a volunteer work day at camp!

Their support of the Outreach Program is part of Henderson’s focus on education and supporting girls in the urban core. By providing opportunities to these Girl Scouts, Henderson is not only helping the girls, but also the community, because of the projects these Girl Scouts are able to complete. It’s a powerful ripple effect all thanks to supporting girls!

Henderson Engineers volunteers work on the basement and kitchen of Neal Lodge, 2017

In 2017, the Henderson Engineers’ team came out to Camp Prairie Schooner and did some major updates to the property! They renovated the basement of Neal Lodge, including hanging drywall and various other updates. The team deep cleaned the kitchen at Neal Lodge before Zombie Camp, making sure it was ready for all the awesome girls that would come to camp that weekend. Finally, they helped demolish a permatent site! Talk about some seriously awesome work. Their combination of giving through financial support and volunteerism truly makes this partnership special.

Henderson Engineers volunteers demolishing the permatent site, 2017.

Thank you to Henderson Engineers for their on-going support of Girl Scouts! They’re joining us in 2018 for another volunteer day and we can’t wait to see what changes they’re able to make at camp. Without volunteers and community supporters like this, Girl Scouts could not provide the vital programming it does. Thank you!

If your organization is interested in helping changes the lives of girls, please contact our VP of Philanthropy, Vanessa Van Goethem-Piela.

Giving Back for Tomorrow’s Leaders

Spotlighting Daisy’s Circle Founding Member Beth Kealey

Sharing some serious Girl Scout love through giving back! Meet Beth Kealey, a Girl Scout mom, alum, Daisy’s Circle member, Philanthropy award winner, troop leader and Gold Award advisor! Not only has Beth supported Girl Scouts as a donor, she’s been there for her daughters as a troop leader and is an advocate for ensuring these incredible programs her daughters experienced are available for the Girl Scouts of tomorrow. After following Girl Scouts through different states, 3 daughters, 3 troops and the Gold Award in 2016 with her youngest daughter, Stephanie, it’s no wonder this awesome Girl Scout mom is also a Daisy’s Circle Philanthropist award winner!

Beth, Stephanie and her Gold Award Advisor, Linda Weerts at the 2016 Inspire a Girl Ceremony

All three of Beth’s daughters have loved Girl Scouting! Christina, the oldest, was lucky enough to have Beth as her leader when she started as a Daisy, and Jennifer, the middle child, had Beth as her troop’s co-leader. Stephanie started in Girl Scouts and even though she became inactive after earning her Silver Award, she and a friend decided they wanted to go for Gold and she re-registered to get that ultimate Girl Scouting honor.

Beth watched Stephanie SHINE through her experience with the Gold Award where she created a slam poetry program to give teens a place to feel loved and accepted. The company that hosted the slam poetry nights told her she had to get 15 to show up for the event….in true Girl Scout fashion, Stephanie got 95 to attend. They all knew they had something really important happening in this space and because of it, Stephanie earned her Gold Award and walked across the stage in 2016 with pride.

Images from Stephanie’s Gold Award project – Slam Poetry; Stephanie hugging her mom, Beth, after receiving her Gold Award pin in 2016.

“Stephanie was so proud of earning her Gold Award. It was all about her being able to say ‘I did this!’ and be really proud of that accomplishment,” said Beth. More than just pride, there was a maturity and growth that Stephanie now had. That’s especially evident when you watch her “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” vide with Bob Regnier! Of course, Beth couldn’t be more proud of what her daughter became. “After earning the Gold, you could see a difference in the way she presented herself. There was a maturity there,” Beth said.

As the parent of a Gold Award Girl Scout, Beth saw growth in her daughter and a sense of pride she hadn’t seen before. “What you see as the parent of a Gold Award recipient is that they have much more poise, grace and just the way they present themselves after going through the experience of earning the Gold,” Beth said. That’s one of the reasons she’s continued to give as a member of Daisy’s Circle, even though all three of her daughters are no proud alumna.

 

Stephanie and Beth at the 2016 Gold Award ceremony; Right: Beth with GSKSMO CEO, Joy Wheeler upon receiving the 2016 Daisy’s Circle Philanthropy Award for the Central Region.

 

“Giving is just a cultural thing for me. If we want the experiences my daughters received for future Girl Scouts, we have to keep giving. You need that grassroots foundation of support to keep these programs,” Beth said. It’s important to her that she supports the same opportunities for the Girl Scouts of tomorrow that her daughters received. Because of her giving, advocacy and volunteerism, it’s no wonder Beth received the “Daisy’s Circle Appreciation” award for the Central Region in 2016 too!

Beth Kealey is a beautiful example of a strong Girl Scout supporter who continues to create a future for the Girl Scouts of tomorrow! This amazing volunteer is definitely what we would call Girl Scout Strong!! Thank you, Beth, for your leadership and continued support of Girl Scouting!

A Golden Heart for Girl Scouts

Meet Girl Scout Alum Bernadette “Bernie” Murray

An alumna with a golden heart for Girl Scouts! Meet Bernadette “Bernie” Murray, a Highest Award Girl Scout Alumna, proud member of the Juliette Gordon Low Society AND Daisy’s Circle! Investing in the future of girls has become a passion for Bernie because of the impact the program had on her own life. Being a champion for women has been a lifelong goal – and it all started in a troop.

“I’m constantly working to building up women and to be a champion for women because we’re a minority in my line of work. But it’s something I’ve been doing my whole life and it started with Girl Scouts,” Bernie said, who currently works in cyber security – a male dominated industry.

Bernie entered the Girl Scout world as a Brownie and quickly found herself trying exciting things. She learned to drive a manual transmission car, did winter survival and travelled all over the world. In fact, she’s been to every World Center except India – what an impressive Girl Scout travel resume! Bernie even had a pen pal from one of her Destinations that she reconnected with on LinkedIn recently.

 

Bernie at National Center West in 1984.

Outdoor adventure became a passion as she entered her teen years and she served as a Counselor-In-Training and various other outdoor positions. She travelled to National Center West on a council sponsored trip called “Wyoming Trek.” To this day, she’s still an avid camper and credits a lot of that passion for the outdoors to Girl Scouts. She’s still in touch with girls from her Girl Scout camping days thanks to an outdoor program Facebook group!

“As a teen, Girl Scouts kept me on the straight and narrow. Without Girl Scouts, I would not be the same person I am today,” Bernie said.

This love of camping inspired her Gold Award project, which was creating a camp aid training program. “Girl Scout Cadettes and Seniors would go through this training to learn to work with troops who had leaders who didn’t have a strong background in the outdoors,” Bernie said. The program helped ensure that Girl Scouts got a great outdoor experience, even if their leader was learning alongside them! Today, leaders go through training at our council, but being a true Innovator, Bernie’s program was ahead of its time.

 

Bernie as a CIT at Camp Prairie Schooner

Fast forward several years and Bernie is still camping and finding Girl Scouts popping up in her life. At a work meeting she realized that the presenter was her Gold Award advisor! Those connections with other Girl Scouts and mentors have truly lasted a lifetime for this awesome Girl Scout.

Today, Bernie is a proud member of the Juliette Gordon Low Society, a special group of donors who have included Girl Scouts in their estate plans. Investing in girls was at the top of her list because of the impact the program had on her own life. “In Girl Scouts, I wasn’t told I couldn’t do something. I just did it. Because of that, I thrived. I want to make sure that the next generation continues to have those experiences without financial constraints,” Bernie said.

Thanks to donors like Bernie, Girl Scouts continues to be the top leadership organization for girls in the world. It’s because of dedicated alumna, donors and volunteers that we can build a bright future for girls!

Do you know a special alum like Bernie? Share the story with us using the comments below.

Inspired by Daisy

 Troops Follow Founder’s Footsteps as Philanthropists

Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts, was not only an advocate for girls, she was also a philanthropist. She sold her valuable strand of pearls to provide funding for Girl Scouts in its early days. Today, troops are stepping up and becoming the philanthropists of tomorrow by joining Daisy’s Circle, the monthly giving program for our council.

Daisy’s Circle is named for Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low. By becoming members of Daisy’s Circle, troops are giving back to other girls so they can have a full Girl Scouting experience. Troops began joining Daisy’s Cirlce in 2016 (Troop 879) and we now have 6 amazing troops who are giving back to girls. Check out these awesome troops making a difference for sister Girl Scouts!


GS Cadette Troop 956 – Lenexa, KS

“I really wanted to help girls that couldn’t do Girl Scouts because it’s really fun and I like it.” – Alyssa E. (age 12)

Troop 956 selected Daisy’s Circle as their organization to donate to because the girls wanted to give to other girls in the program. Since they love Girl Scouts, they wanted to give to help other girls have the same opportunities. To help them understand what being a donor meant, Melissa Ford from the GSKSMO Philanthropy team, came to teach the girls about giving back at a troop meeting. After learning about Daisy’s Circle, the girls decided to join! The program is special to them and something they want to invest in because of the experiences they get working together as a troop. “Girl Scouts gives my girls, who wouldn’t necessary spend time together without Girl Scouts, the chance to be around other perspectives and learn to work together,” Wendee Egbert, troop leader said.

GS Junior Troop 1323 –

“I wanted people who couldn’t afford to be in Girl Scouts to be able to have a way to join and do all the fun stuff other Girl Scouts get to do all over the world.” -Allie R. (age 10)

For Troop 1323, the decision to join Daisy’s Circle showed a real commitment to having the voice of the entire group represented. When Kara Lineweber (from the Philanthropy team at GSKSMO) came to talk to the girls about philanthropy, only half the troop was present and they wanted to make sure everyone got to vote before deciding to join. At the next meeting, the girls who had been at the presentation explained the power of giving back to the other troop members and they voted to join. As troop leader Erin said, “by simply saying YES, the girls are proud member of Daisy Circle and wearing their pins!” This troop gives back all year through donations funded with their cookie proceeds, service projects and any other opportunity they see!

 

GS Multilevel Troop 0009 & Troop 1795 –

“Joining the Daisy Circle is important because it is a big way to give back to what the Council does for us. Without these donations, we wouldn’t be able to do the events and camps.  Together, if we all step in and donate, our Girl Scout experience will be even better.” – Brynna N. (age 13)

 “It was important to join Daisy’s Circle because it’s a way for our troop to give back to Girl Scouts and for other girls to participate in GS activities!” – Regan J. (age 15)

Troop 0009 and Troop 1795 joined Daisy’s Circle together since the two troops work together on a lot of projects. Led by amazing leaders, these troops are certainly Go-Getters – doing everything they can to give back. For Troop 1795, the decision was easy once the girl heard about the challenges some Girl Scouts, right next door, face just to go to troop meetings. “We talked about how in KCMO school district, some parents work two jobs to make ends meet and that not everyone can afford the things my girls take for granted – uniforms, activities, etc.  Our girls decided unanimously that they wanted to give back to other Girl Scouts,” Amy Rothery-Colin, Troop 1795 leader said.

Troop 0009 joined because they are a troop built on a love of giving back. This troop is all about service – kicking off their annual meetings in August with a service project at a soup kitchen to bond. Their leader, Mary Ellen Hughes, has developed a culture of giving back because she took on the troop when it was in need of a leader and told the girls that sometimes you have to be the one to do something when you see a problem. That made an impact on the girls and they’re now proud Daisy’s Circle members!

GS Multilevel Troop 4222 –

“We wanted to do good things for other girls who want to do good things and make the world a better place!” – Eden (age 11)

In the fall of 2017, Troop 4222 started learning all about money and budgeting. After a trip to the Federal Reserve Bank at Kansas City, the girls worked on their own budgets based on their cookie money earnings. Troop leaders Amy and Erin encouraged them to dream about what they wanted to do with their money as part of their budget. Nearly every girl had dreams of giving back. Remembering Daisy’s Circle from Inspire a Girl 2017, the leaders asked Kara to come teach the girls about philanthropy. After that, the girls voted 5 to 0 to join and now sport their awesome pins on their vests with pride! “The entire process was such a learning experience, but the real excitement was the very cool Daisy Circle pins and patches!  The girls are SUPER happy to sport those on their uniforms,” Troop Leader Amy Jones said.

Thank you to all our amazing G.I.R.L.s who are giving back to help other girls THRIVE in Girl Scouts! Together, we truly are building up one another in the world of Girl Scouting. You can read more about our first Daisy’s Circle troop, Troop 879 here! THANK YOU to all our incredible donors who make Girl Scouting possible.

Giving Back to the Community that Raised Her

Gold Award Girl Scouts are an extra special group of high-achieving women who are driven to make the world a better place as girl members and throughout their life. When you add “Lifetime member” and “Daisy’s Circle member” to that category, you get an awesome, unstoppable G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)TM! Meet Elizabeth Shyanne Adcock (although she goes by Shyanne)! This amazing Girl Scout not only has invested in her community with a powerful Gold Award project, but is investing in the future of the program she loves so dearly as a member of Daisy’s Circle.

Shyanne started her Girl Scout journey as a Daisy, as young as she could. “I really don’t ever remember NOT being in Girl Scouts,” Shyanne said. She has fond memories of cookie sales, events and giving back through service projects. Most importantly, she remembers the sisterhood she had. “I’m dyslexic, so learning the Promise and Law took me twice as long as the other girls, but when I finally got it down, everyone was so happy. I’ve always had support behind me in Girl Scouts,” Shyanne said.

One of the highlights was her Highest Award projects – all of which included flowers! Her Bronze Award project involved creating flower pots they donated to a local school that are still in use today! For Silver, she helped grow plants from seeds to donate. It’s only natural that she’d find a way to incorporate flowers into her Gold Award! Like many Girl Scouts, Shyanne had several amazing ideas, but hit some roadblocks within the community on what she could pursue. Finally, her prayer garden project was approved and she was able to make a beautiful addition to her town. “I wanted to find a way to give back to the community that raised me, which is why I worked so hard to find a project I could do,” Shyanne said.

Shyanne planted two prayer gardens – one in her town of Missouri City, MO and the second about a mile away one in a very small town nearby. She reached out to community members who donated artwork, garden decorations, lights, a bench and other items to make the gardens full of interesting elements. She even got a statue donated! Now, her gardens serve as a peaceful place for prayer and contemplation for those in her community.

After completing her Gold, Shyanne attended a meeting with her former troop leader, MaryEllen Hughes where the troop was being inducted into Daisy’s Circle for joining. Moved by what Girl Scouts had given her, Shyanne stepped up and decided to become a member that night as well. “Girl Scouts has done a lot for me and knowing that there are girls who can’t do Girl Scouts because of money just really hit me. I feel like Daisy’s Circle is a good place for my money,” Shyanne said.

Now Shyanne is attending University of Central Missouri as a graphic design major and discovering what she wants to do as a career. In April 2018, Shyanne will receive her Gold Award pin at Inspire a Girl and we can’t wait to watch her proudly walk across that stage. This amazing G.I.R.L. is a great example of not only a Girl Scout, but a philanthropist, looking to the future of the program that gave her a supportive, loving sisterhood of girls.  Thank you, Shayanne!

If you’re interested in joining Daisy’s Circle like Shayanne, visit http://www.daisyscircle.org!

Giving to Help Girls Tell Their Story

In November, GSKSMO asked supporters to help a girl tell her own, unique story by helping her fill her Girl Scout vest. Thanks to the generosity of donors, we raised $12,223.25, which has provided funding to cover the membership dues of 488 local girls who are now able to start telling their Girl Scout story – all thanks to you. A major part of the success of this campaign was a matching gift provided by Sylvia Wagner and E.R. Pullman. As a former board member, Sylvia discovered the power of Girl Scouts is something to invest in because girls are our most powerful resource.

Sylvia Wagner is a former GSKSMO Board Member and philanthropist who advocates for girls and serves as a volunteer and board member for a variety of incredible organizations across multiple states. As the VP of HR for Assurant in New York, Sylvia became a GSKSMO Board Member in the mid-1990s when she moved to Kansas City from Minneapolis. During her time as a Board Member, she learned about the amazing programming and stories of Girl Scouts inspiring her to be a champion for girls.

She first felt the power of a match herself while at a meeting where a match was offered for any gifts given that night. “I was at an evening meeting with Joy Wheeler and other Girl Scouts supporters, where they asked us to make a gift and said ‘if you give tonight, it will be matched.’ I thought ‘oh, that’s really great’ and I gave. This year, when I was asked me to give a match, I did because I think it really matters when there’s a match opportunity,” Sylvia said.

Sylvia is certainly right! Thanks to the gift, #GivingTuesday 2017 was a larger success than GSKSMO has ever seen with this campaign. Girls are celebrating with new vests, new patches and memberships already. With hundreds of girls waiting for funding through the Opportunity Fund at GSKSMO, the money raised helps these girls fulfill their Girl Scouting dreams.

The motivating force for Sylvia to give is the power of the Girl Scouts program and what it offers to girls today. When she joined the Board, she knew very little about the program. She had a son who was a Boy Scout, but she was not a Girl Scout alumna. During her many years of service on the Board, she learned just how life changing the program is. “I’m proud to say I became a Girl Scout in my 40s…which is a little older than most, but it was really fun!,” Sylvia said.

Sylvia and E. Robert Pullman with their son, Nick, in California and celebrating his JD/MBA graduation.

“Girl Scouts reinforces all the right things for girls and the programs are just wonderful [… and] when you hear the experiences these girls have, it’s the most compelling reason to give,” said Sylvia. In addition to empowering girls through giving, she loves the sense of gratitude she receives from the Council. “They have a wonderful sense of gratitude, and that makes a world of difference,” Sylvia said.

Gratitude overflows at Girl Scouts because, as an organization, it is built on volunteers and donors who change lives. From troop leaders who are on the ground, working directly with girls, to the donors who build rappel walls and support girls in need, Girl Scouts is a community of people who believe in girls. Because of that, we’re all thankful for everyone who works together to make Girl Scouting a reality.

“[In today’s climate], it’s really important for girls to have a positive place to be, to have positive role models and know that they have not only have a voice, but to use it. That’s what the Girl Scouts enables in these young, impressionable girls,” Sylvia said. That’s why now is an especially important time to give, to invest in girls and give them the tools they need to be the leaders of tomorrow.

An ANGEL for Girl Scouts

For every Girl Scout, there are volunteers that make a difference in her life. Whether it’s a troop leader, parent volunteer or community member, these volunteers influence a girl’s future by showing her a big, bright world ahead of her. For Girl Scouts in Holden, KS, Angel Mallen certainly lives up to her name as an angel for girls. Coming from a low income background, Angel is able to connect to Girl Scouts with economic issues in a unique way…through a shared experience.

Growing up, Angel wanted to be a Girl Scout, but her single, working mother wasn’t able to provide the financial support to continue in the program. The cookie program became her biggest hurdle because they didn’t have a physical address or place to store cookies. When your address is more often your family truck rather than a home, it becomes difficult to sign-up for things like cookie sales.

It’s sad to imagine what an amazing Girl Scout Angel would have been had financial obstacles not prevented her from continuing. “I was one of those ‘Go-getter’ kids, so I loved badges,” said Angel. Fortunately, today’s Girl Scouts have more options than Angel did. At GSKSMO, we are constantly workings to ensure that no girl is turned away because of a family’s financial situation and we are innovating ways to build the Opportunity Fund for girls just like Angel.

Despite the setback, Angel became a business owner who sold her business and was able to retire at age 46! Talk about a SERIOUS go-getter! She now leads a multi-age troop for girls in her community, many of whom are low income girls, just like she was.

“I bring fresh vegetables and herbs to meetings because some of my girls have never seen these types of fresh foods.” said Angel. This innovative thinking comes from personal experience with the problems these girls face. She recently did a project to teach strength by having her troop use their voice and get a glow stick (representing their strength lighting the way in a dark room) until they lit up the room where all the lights were out except for a lamp that Angel had. She then turned down her own lamp, showing them that now they have the strength to light up a dark room and didn’t need her guidance when they learned to be strong. What an inspiring way to teach girls about working together to face their fears!

One of the other things Angel loves is helping girls sell cookies so they can have experiences like Girl Scout Day at the K. “When we got to do Day at the K last year, that was the first time most of my girls had seen a Royals game that wasn’t on a TV,” said Angel.

Thanks to Angel, more than 40 girls have a place to call home in Girl Scouts. Her troop has expanded from 15 Daisies to over 40 girls from Daisy through Junior Girl Scouts. Even with her early setback with Girl Scouts, she believes in the program because of its ability to empower. “Rather than being told you can’t do things because you’re a girl…you’re told you CAN do things BECAUSE you’re a girl,” said Angel.

In addition to the live skills and empowerment, Girl Scouts just provides a level playing field. “When you give to Girl Scouts, you’re giving girls the chance to fit in. Girl Scouts may be the only place where they have a vest like everyone else and get to do activities like everyone else…rather than being left out,” said Angel.

All year, volunteers like Angel are changing lives as troop leaders, service unit volunteers and parent helpers. Without your gifts of your time, your talent and your treasure, Girl Scouts couldn’t exist. As the year comes to a close we thank leaders, like Angel, who recognize their girls’ unique needs and work to provide them a solid support system.

If you’d like to provide a Girl Scout in need a uniform or invest in programming that directly impacts local girls, please consider an end of the year gift today. www.gsksmo.org/donate.