South Orange, Maplewood Girl Scouts Do Good, Get Featured on CBS2

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It always pays to be good.

South Orange, Maplewood Girl Scout Troop 20245 recently completed a month-long service project, collecting more than 4,000 travel-size toiletries and assembling over 230 kits for Bridges Outreach, a Summit-based nonprofit that provides food, clothing and basic necessities to thousands of homeless people in New York City, Newark and Irvington, New Jersey.

The troop is comprised of 12 fourth-grade girls, all from South Orange and Maplewood, who attend Jefferson Elementary School.

Although the girls weren’t seeking recognition, the troop will be featured in a “Giving Thanks” segment reported by anchor Cindy Hsu on WCBS-TV, scheduled to air during the 5 p.m. news broadcast on Wednesday, Nov. 25. Sarah Walters, an executive producer with the network and local resident, saw the troop’s social media posts on the Swap/Meet SOMA ISO In Search Of Facebook page and contacted troop leaders. The girls were filmed assembling the kits and were interviewed for the story.

Girl Scouts Kit assembly day group photo (1)

The girls reached out to scores of local residents and friends for donations, and organized a collection day at Rite Aid in South Orange. With the help of a troop mom, they also posted their toiletry drive on local community discussion boards.

The kits include items such as shampoo and conditioner, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, lotion and deodorant.

On Friday, November 20, the girls assembled the kits, and personalized them with stickers and notes.

“When girls give back to their communities, they learn things like compassion, community service and the impact they have on other people,” said Diane Esty, community engagement specialist for Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey. “We love to see our girls prioritizing the needs of others, and this troop has demonstrated the spirit of what it means to be a Girl Scout.”

Girl Scouts Rite Aid group shot (1)


“For over 25 years Bridges Outreach has been providing food, clothing and other necessities to people living on the streets in New York, Newark and Irvington,” said Dan RosenHanst, director of operations for Bridges. “This project will help us continue our commitment to those on the streets by providing them with access to toiletry items they wouldn’t normally be able to afford.”

“All of the girls were incredibly engaged and earnest in their efforts,” added Tara Ragone, a troop mom who organized the service project. “They were very proactive, canvassing neighborhoods for donations and putting personal touches on notes to include in the kits. They all seemed to connect and enjoy the experience, which was so heartwarming to see.”


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