Last week was a tumultuous one for the country—and for Girl Scouting. Hurricane Sandy swept through the East Coast and left a trail of destruction in its wake. I am so proud, however, that throughout it all, Girl Scouts in even the most affected areas have done what they do best: rolled up their sleeves and gone to work serving others in a time of need. We teach our girls to take the lead, to act with courage, confidence and character, and to make the world a better place. Our girls have done just that.
Girl Scouts like Tandi Ackerman from the Atlantic City area, who with her sister Girl Scouts took the lead right after the storm to go door to door to collect items for those displaced and in shelters. “We are bringing clothes, and canned goods, and baby items, because a lot of people stocked up and didn't get as hurt as other people did,” Tandi told a local TV station. “So we thought it was a good idea to ask people for their extra things.” Tandi made a difference and so did members of Girl Scout Troop 5327, who did not waste any time in pitching in to help their sister troop members with cleanup efforts after the storm wreaked havoc on the New York City borough of Staten Island. The efforts by girls and volunteers spanned the country, from Staten Island to San Francisco, and even our Girl Scout council in New York’s Suffolk County has opened its office to local residents without electricity as a place to warm up and charge their electronic devices.
In all, eight of our councils bore the brunt of Hurricane Sandy, four in New Jersey and four in New York. They are assisting staff members who have been affected by the storm and assessing damage to their facilities. If you would like to support our eight councils in their rebuilding efforts, you can do so at donate.girlscouts.org/hurricanerecovery. Our councils will need help in rebuilding and you can assist most directly by making a financial donation.
Girl Scouts across the country have already played an important role in the relief and recovery efforts, and I know they will continue to do so in the weeks and months to come. Please visit our website often as it will be our hub for highlighting Girl Scouts and their leadership during what will be a long road recovery. Our research makes clear that Girl Scouting works, and it is in times of crisis and duress that the leadership lessons our girls learn are most clearly visible. I want to thank all Girl Scouts for their caring and concern and for the leadership they have displayed during Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.