Fleetwood Girl Scout Junior Troop 1028 and one Senior Girl Scout from Troop 11168 decided to spend some time volunteering to help soldiers serving overseas to receive a little bit of home while serving far away.
The 15 Girl Scouts and their Troop Leaders volunteered their time to help the organization, Keystone Soldiers. The girls ventured over to the Keystone Soldiers warehouse in Leesport.
Assistant Leader Carin Mileshosky’s husband is currently deployed to Afghanistan and she and her daughter wanted to do something with the Girl Scouts for the military during the holidays. They were missing their husband and dad and they wanted him to know that there were others back home thinking about him and his soldiers.
Carin found out about Keystone Soldiers through her work with her husband’s Army unit Family Readiness Group that she heads. The Girl Scout Troop was just starting their “It’s Your World, Change It!” Journey Book and Carin wanted to show the girls that they could find a problem and change it. Carin was the example of just that - she found an organization that needed help, something that was close to her heart.
She reached out for help, gathered a team, and they made a difference. It is Carin’s dream that when it’s the girls’ turn to pick a project for their journey, that they will remember how well they worked as a group and that the soldiers really appreciated it. While providing community service, the girls also learned about teamwork.
The “Stocking for Soldiers” campaign is in it’s 11th Year. Keystone Soldiers sends care packages to all branches of the military, including soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen and to locations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Korea, Kosovo, and several other places around the world. The organization ships to troops who request support from home.
The Scouts helped to sort and pack items needed to stuff the stockings. They used sandwich-sized baggies to package an assortment of basic toiletries. They used additional baggies to package snacks separately. As the director instructed the girls, she said, “You don’t want your peanut butter crackers smelling like deodorant.”
The toiletry baggies were then placed in the stockings along with a baggie of snacks and another baggie filled with candy and chocolate goodies.
After the stockings were stuffed, they were boxed with Christmas cards, stationary items, a DVD movie, and small toys to be shipped. In the two hours the girls worked, they boxed about 125 to 150 stockings.
They were sharing with each other that they liked doing something to help others because it was fun. The project was especially heartwarming and personal, since one of the girls’ dads was recently called for military duty.
Keystone Soldiers has helped thousands of troops in service to our country, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but all over the world and including troops stationed inside the United States.
Photos by Keystone Soldiers