What did you do for your Gold Award project?
Many parents experiencing homelessness feel as though they cannot provide enough for their children and many of these children feel unvalued. Additionally, many people want to help those experiencing homelessness in their community, but do not feel as though they can. Birthday parties can help solve these problems because they allow parents feel as though they are able to provide for their children, help children feel valued, and allow the community volunteers to support those experiencing homelessness. A Bright Spot provides families experiencing homelessness the means to throw birthday parties. Community volunteers signed up to donate birthday party supplies every year for a child’s birthday, which allows the parents to throw their child a birthday party. For this project, I partnered with BeyondHome, an organization in Denver that aims to help families on the road to self-sufficiency.
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
I measured the impact my Gold Award project made on my target audiences through the use of surveys. After the parties, I asked the parents if they felt they were able to provide something special for their child, the children if they felt valued, and the volunteers if they felt they were able to support those in need. I found that all of these groups were positively impacted by A Bright Spot.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
My project is sustainable because BeyondHome will continue to run the program even though I am no longer involved. Additionally, the volunteers have committed to donating more birthday supplies as the need arises. Finally, I distributed directions on how to run A Bright Spot to other organizations so that they can start the program for their own children. My project will continue to have a positive impact on both families and community volunteers for years to come as more and more children are able to have birthday parties.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
My project has a global connection because homelessness is a global issue. Additionally, communities all around the globe want to support those experiencing homelessness, so I directly addressed a portion of the global issue. Finally, I spread the word about my project through a website, flyers, and newspaper articles as well as sending directions on how to start A Bright Spot to other organizations.
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I am capable of managing a large-scale program like my project. I also learned that I am able to come up with an idea for a program and make it a reality. Additionally, I learned that I really enjoyed providing birthday parties to the children. I chose this project because I thought I would like it, but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Finally, I learned that I enjoyed providing the volunteers with the opportunity to do something special.
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
Earning my Gold Award will impact me in the future because I learned many invaluable skills while completing my project. This will help me as I continue my education and in my career. Additionally, I will always be happy to know that I was able to positively impact people through my project.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
My Gold Award was the culmination of all of my past experiences in Girl Scouts. My badges, Journeys, and camps taught me the skills I needed to complete this project. Additionally, my Gold Award taught me new skills that I can use alongside what I learned from previous years of Girl Scouts.
How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
My Gold Award helped me become a G.I.R.L. by allowing me to develop my skills in each of these areas. I was an innovator when developing a plan for the project, modifying the plan to account for COVID-19, and managing the program. I was a go-getter and risk-taker when trying to convince people and organizations to volunteer to participate in the project. Finally, I was a leader when working with my team members on various aspects of the project.
**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.