Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Service Project: Stuffed Socks

When our troop was filling mason jars with cookie mix at Bake Me Home this past fall, we learned about the Bake It Forward program.  
"Kids entering grades 2-9 can apply for grants of $100 each for a charity of their choice serving children in Ohio.  Each applicant must perform a summer service project for a charity that benefits children.  Amy and Emma then choose three winners and present these awards at a ceremony at The Duke Energy Children’s Museum.  Our winners also each receive a “Bake It Forward” t-shirt and a jar of Bake Me Home Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. This program is designed to encourage kids to be creative and get involved with other organizations in the community, furthering our mission of “promoting volunteerism.”
My daughter was inspired and wanted to get started on a service project immediately.  Together, we searched for ideas online.  We were directed to the Kid World Citizen website that lists 35 different service projects for kids.  My daughter was drawn to #19:  Stuff warm socks with snacks and fruit to pass out to people who are homeless.  After some brainstorming, she decided she wanted to stuff socks with a packet of hot chocolate mix, mini candy canes, and chocolate candies.  The gift was set.  Now she had to choose the recipients.  

Earlier in the summer, I began spending some time with ladies from our church and participants in a group called Having the Courage to Change.  HTCTC is a women’s residential addiction recovery program through City Gospel Mission in Cincinnati.  My daughter knew this group of women had a special place in my heart.  She asked if she could present the socks to the women in the program at a Christmas luncheon that was scheduled to be held at our church.  After making a few phone calls, it was agreed that this was a great idea.  

We went to a few stores looking for inexpensive pairs of socks since we knew we needed to buy a couple dozen.  We decided to order some fuzzy Christmas socks from Oriental Trading (They are no longer available on the website, so I am unable to provide a link).  (UPDATE:  I recently remembered the socks were ordered from LTD Commodities).  The socks were sold in packages of six.  Did I mention they were reasonably priced?  When the order arrived, my daughter discovered the red dye had bled onto the white areas of the socks.  She quickly learned that you get what you pay for.  I am pleased to announce that Oriental Trading LTD Commodities sent us enough packages to replace the defective socks.  No questions asked.  


We found boxes of Nestle hot chocolate packets on sale for $1 each.  We bought a box of mini candy canes for $2 or $3.  She was all set to stuff the socks.  For the past couple of months, she had been baking some Brookies that we could serve at the HTCTC luncheons we were hosting.  (This link for Brookies includes a recipe for brownies and chocolate chip cookies.  We usually use Betty Crocker Triple Chunk Brownie Mix and a roll of Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Chip Cookie Dough).  Knowing the ladies love this sweet treat, she decided to bake some Brookies, wrapping an individual snack for each lady.   

My daughter did not work with her Brownie troop on this project, but I am posting about it because it is a great idea for a Girl Scout service project.  The socks could be stuffed with a variety of goods and could be given to a wide range of people.  The costs could be covered by a portion of the money earned through Cookie Sales, and the girls could practice working within a budget.  I would love to hear the their ideas.  While my daughter will not be able to apply for the Bake It Forward grant with this specific project as she had hoped, I love her heart.  I am sure she will come up with another project idea to tackle this summer that benefits children.  Thank you for reading!


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