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.  DNF18

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 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.  DNF18

“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.