Wadsworth Girl Scout Troop #90338 spent April 13 packing "journey bags" at the Wadsworth campus of The Village of St. Edward, a recently opened senior living community, 880 Main Street, Wadsworth.
"Journey bags" are duffel bags containing both necessary and comfort items - blankets, coloring books, dolls, pillows, socks, stuffed animals, toiletries, and water bottles - that are given to foster children who tend to move frequently and usually have only a garbage bag in which to keep their belongings.
The grateful recipients treasure these meaningful, heartfelt offerings since their young, unanchored lives are often in a state of confusion and turmoil.
The "journey bag" project was a collaboration between the Scouts, The Village of St. Edward, and Fostering Hope, a Pepper Pike nonprofit organization that supports foster children.
The Scouts of Troop #90338 chose this project to earn their Bronze Award, which involves creating a plan, moving forward with that plan, and spreading the word.
One of the ways the Scouts promoted the project in late March was on Wadsworth Community Radio. Tom Stugmeyer, who runs the station, also broadcast the event live from The Village of St. Edward the day the girls did the packing. They had collected bags and items earlier, and many individuals also donated articles that day; their impressive goal was to fill 100 bags.
Becky Soucie, Director of Nursing at St. Edward, is also the troop leader. She learned more than 3,000 foster children live in Northeast Ohio; almost 300 of them live in Medina County. When the girls learned about this situation, they agreed unanimously and enthusiastically to take on this project.
Staff members and residents at the new senior living community helped stuff the bags; The Village of St. Edward in Fairlawn also contributed additional items. Annette Walters, Director of Marketing, said a number of residents used to be Girl Scouts and felt honored to be part of the project.