By Kate Crutcher
O’FALLON – From the early days of kindergartner, Alia Barcus and Sidney Alumbaugh have been a part of Girl Scouts for almost a decade. Now, as 14 year olds at Carriel Junior High School, they are working together toward receiving the Girl Scout Silver Award as a part of Girl Scout Troop #547.
“We do a lot of fun things, just in our troop. Just a couple years ago, we participated in a sleepover, at the City Museum, which was super fun. Selling cookies is also a lot of fun, because you get to not just sell cookies, but interact with other people,” Alumbaugh said.
The Girl Scout Silver Award is given to partners who each complete 50 hours of community service, while working on their project, which should leave an everlasting memory in the community’s mind.
“My favorite part about being in our Girl Scout Troop is just being a part of the Girl Scouts and all the opportunities that it provides. Along with Girl Scouts, I am also a part of the Robotics Team and there are so many trips that you can take and go on, while having exciting new experiences,” Barcus said.
The girls are hosting a donation drive from March 1 until March 15. The drive is accepting gently used puzzles, small toys and board games to donate to Memorial Hospital’s waiting rooms, in hopes that the children who play with them are not just sitting around waiting for a loved one to recover. The girls are hoping to bring in as many donations as possible during this donation drive.
There will be a box inside Carriel Junior High School for students to drop by donations before and after school. For school safety, non students and staff members, who would like to donate, the girls ask that you contact the office by calling (618) 622-2932 when you arrive in order for the secretaries to come out and retrieve your donations for the drive.
“It is really important to me, because a lot of times at hospitals there is not much to do, especially for young kids, that maybe don’t know how to read magazines or things like that. There is also, sometimes not any TV’s in the waiting rooms as well. It is also just important for the children to feel safe in the waiting room, while they are waiting for the outcomes. We are hoping that these donations are distractions to them and maybe they could play with them, with other family members in the waiting room,” Alumbaugh said.
“I know from personal experiences, how long you can be waiting in the waiting room, sometimes for five hours at a time and it can just be mind-boggling boring and lonely when you are there and it is nice to have a puzzle or a board game,” Barcus said.