"Every day there is something YOU can do to make the world around you a little bit better. Find that thing, however tiny, everyday." --Amy Davis Roth
From the GSUSA website: What's the difference between a community service activity and a Take Action Project?
"Community service makes the world better for some people “right now.” For example, collecting cans of food for the local food pantry feeds people “right now.” Gathering toys for a homeless family shelter makes kids happy “right now.” Providing clothing and toiletries to people who have suffered a disaster helps them get through a traumatic event “right now.” These acts of kindness are important ways to help some people—right now.
Take Action projects, along with the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards, address the root cause of an issue, and come up with sustainable, longer-lasting solutions. These projects strive to make the world a better place for more people for a much longer time. Sometimes, service and action just naturally blend together into one sustainable effort. As a Girl Scout, you use both service and action to live out the Girl Scout Law and “make the world a better place!”
It is possible to take activities that are more one-time Community Service projects and make them more sustainable. Make them a regular event, create some lasting resources, conduct an information campaign.
Also check out Map It!, an interactive map that shows how Girl Scouts all over are changing the world! Whether it’s Gold Awards, Silver Awards, Bronze Awards, Forever Green, or Journey Take Action projects, browse what girls are doing to get inspiration and share your story.
Honest and fair projectsEdit
Friendly and helpful projectsEdit
- Make placemats for Meals on Wheels. This would be a good project for Daisies to do. Could also be for an adult daycare or rest home.
- Red Cross Comfort Kits. Collect personal hygiene items for Red Cross comfort kits.
Considerate and caring projectsEdit
- Make pet toys and/or collect items for a local animal shelter. We made braided pull toys for dogs from strips of old fabric (used sheets, towels, t-shirts that were beyond even donating for clothing drives), cut them up into strips, and the girls braided them for cat and dog toys. We had this as a standing opening activity for our meetings for several months for the girls to do as they arrived. We've also taken old socks (what else do you do with all of those single socks sitting next to your dryer that have lost their mates?), stuffed them with polyfil and catnip or old tennis balls, and tied them up for toys.
- Make cat scratching pad using leftover boxes from cookie cases.
- Collect Comfort Cases for kids in foster care. Collect small suitcases, duffel Bags or backpacks with PJs, stuffed animals, coloring books and crayons, personal hygiene, and other items.
- Pillows for Kids in Foster Care. Collect pillows and make or tie-dye pillow cases for kids in foster care.* Jared Box. A Jared Box is a shoebox size plastic storage box filled with small gifts, toys, cards, and games. Each box contains items selected for a specific age and gender. The boxes are delivered to hospitals and are given to chronically ill children. The Jared Boxes provide a special diversion for young patients as they receive chemotherapy and other medical treatments.
- Socks of Love. Fill warm socks for the homeless with toiletry necessities.
- Birthday packets for nursing homes. Fill a bag with birthday hat, party blower, tissue packet and hand-made card. Have nursing home staff give to residents on their birthdays.
Courageous and strong projectsEdit
Responsible for what I say and do projectsEdit
Respect myself and others projectsEdit
- Wake-up stands at rest areas on busy traffic holiday weekends. I remember seeing different groups (not necessarily scouts) doing this on Thanksgiving weekend. Free coffee to keep folks stay awake on long drives. Here's one troop that did it recently: Girl Scouts Helping Drivers. This would probably work better with older scouts, particularly if it is done late at night. Not sure if you would need to get approval from local police/state highway patrols.
Use resources wisely projectsEdit
- Park or creek clean ups. Check around your neighborhood or local parks. Many of these may have annual or semi-annual clean up events organized by local environmental or community groups, particularly around Earth Day (April 20th).
Make the world a better place projectsEdit
- Food or clothing drive. Hold a drive to collect food or clothing items for a local food bank or homeless shelter. We've had Daisies do this very enthusiastically. They first visited a local food bank to see what it was all about and what they needed. The food bank had a large scale, which the girls all hopped on to weigh themselves. We used their total weight as our goal (~800 lbs) for how much we want to collect that year. The girls collected during school events, asking everyone who attended to bring in canned good and other non-perishable food items and personal hygiene supplies).
- Book drive. Collect books, particularly children's books to give to local children that may not have books to read over the summer.\
- Little Free Library. Start a Little Free Library in your neighborhood, like this girl scout in Morley, NY.
Be a sister to every Girl Scout projectsEdit
- Birthday-in-a-Bag. Talk to a local homeless shelter or food bank about donating Birthday-in-a-Bag collections for young children. Fill a large gift bag with: cake mix, frosting, foil cake pan, cake decorations, candles, balloons, plates, napkins, small unisex toy or present (unwrapped), and wrapping paper and ribbon. Some scouts have done this as a way to celebrate Juliette Low's birthday.
- Bedtime Bags for children at shelters, or going into foster care: Each bag has a stuffed animal, a blanket, a book, and a toothbrush.