Tuesday, October 17, 2017

GSUSA Lifting Fundraising Restrictions for Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Sylvia Acevedo with two National Young
Women of Distinction Laura (2014-left)
and Vilmarie (2017-right)

This hurricane season led to unprecedented destruction throughout the United States. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria led to massive flooding and devastation across many communities, impacting many Girl Scouts and their families in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, and beyond.

Many in the Girl Scout Movement have asked how they can contribute to the recovery efforts for our sister Girl Scouts. And for girls in areas where recovery efforts are taking place, we’ve seen that participating in Girl Scouts can help them, and their families, feel some sense of normalcy.

For these reasons, GSUSA has lifted fundraising restrictions so that girls can raise money to support membership scholarships for girls at the impacted councils. Such scholarships typically cover dues as well as uniforms, credentials (e.g., insignia worn on uniforms), and other Girl Scout materials that, for many girls at the impacted councils, were damaged or destroyed. GSUSA wants to ensure that these girls, many of whom come from low-income families, are able to participate in Girl Scouts.

As of now, the impacted councils include Girl Scouts of Caribe, Girl Scouts of Citrus, Girl Scouts of Gateway, Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida, Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida, Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, and Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia. These are in addition to those councils impacted by Hurricane Harvey, for which the fundraising ban was also lifted.

To be clear, this fundraising is being undertaken with the sole intention to provide impacted girls with membership scholarships. And it’s not just girls—anyone can contribute. Just visit http://www.girlscouts.org/DisasterRelief, where you can give to a specific council or choose the fund for all affected councils, which GSUSA will distribute based on need as defined by impacted membership.

The impacted councils continue to be grateful for the outpouring of support. And although material donations and troop offers of assistance have been greatly appreciated, the councils are not currently in a position to process and organize them—stay tuned for more from GSUSA and councils on how Girl Scouts can support their fellow Girl Scouts (for example by teaming up on projects that troops in affected areas are carrying out to support recovery efforts in their communities). We also encourage you to check out some resources we currently have available:

It’s been an incredibly challenging time for many people in the affected areas, and Girl Scouts have displayed tremendous courage, confidence, and character through it all. Indeed, it has been deeply heartening to see our Movement come together to help the impacted communities in their time of need.