If April showers indeed bring May flowers, many families and children in the St. Louis area will bloom from the Girl Scouts’ generosity. Today marks the beginning of the Girl Scouts’ 14th annual April Showers community service project. For the next three days, Girl Scout troops will deliver green April Showers bags to area homes. Residents are encouraged to donate soap, shampoo, toilet paper, toothpaste and any other personal care items, which cannot be purchased with food stamps. The Girl Scouts will return to collect the bags April 16.
“Personal care items are important for cleanliness and good health as well as positive self-esteem and a sense of well being,” Donna Martin, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, said in a statement. “Through this extraordinary community service project, Girl Scouts and our generous community members help supply critical items for local families in need.”
After the Girl Scouts pick up the bags, Operation Food Search, along with more than 100 community agencies, will distribute the personal care items throughout the Girl Scout council’s jurisdiction.
“The need for personal care items continues to be great,” Sunny Schaefer, executive director of operation food search, said in a statement. “Missouri food pantries are reporting a 20-30 percent increase in demand for their services, with most of that increase from families visiting a food pantry for the first time. We truly appreciate the Girl Scouts’ commitment to helping so many people in need.”
Also on board with the April Showers campaign are Schnucks Markets, which will offer $10 prepackaged bags of personal care items for sale in their 54 stores.
If anyone wishes to add items after the April 16 collection day, they may deliver those to any Dierbergs Market April 14-May 7.
In addition to the April Showers project, Reading Habit(at) in Oakville is working with local Girl Scouts troops and other interested children for the Book Baskets Project.
Each child is asked to bring books they are no longer reading to donate to the project. In general, the project is seeking gently used children’s books. The 90-minute workshops coming up on April 13 and 14 are $5 per child and includes:
- story time and discussion about giving
- snack and bookmaking activity
- basketmaking activity, using recycled materials
- a “new-to-me” book to take home
- a box and/or book donation is requested from the participating group or individual
Also, Reading Habit(at) is collecting cardboard boxes a case of Girl Scouts Cookies come in to do a recycled art project that transforms them into cute baskets for storing books. Boxes are accepted flat or assembled. Volunteers also are needed to prepare craft materials and sort book donations.
"The workshop I'm doing with kids at my store is just 'part one' of the project. My hope is that I raise enough boxes and books to take the same workshop to kids in shelters, group homes and Boys & Girls clubs this summer, along with a 'new-to-me'a book fair," said Jennifer MacAdam-Miller of Reading Habit(at). "People do not have to be Girl Scouts—or even children—to participate. And they do not have to participate in a workshop to donate boxes or books."
Anyone who brings in used Girl Scout cookie cardboard boxes will get a coupon for a book purchase at Reading Habit(at). Reading Habit(at) is located at 6035 Telegraph Rd. in the Tori Pines Plaza. To make an appointment, contact Jennifer at 314-401-4809.