Submitted by Cari Sledge
We are Nicole and Xena, Girl Scout Cadettes from Troop 43893. We are in seventh grade at Timberview Middle School. We have completed our Silver Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn. A Girl Scout Cadette receives her Silver Award after completing a Take Action project to improve an issue in her community that she really cares about. We decided that we wanted our Take Action project to help people in our community who were selflessly helping our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. We chose to make reusable cloth masks for the Sodexo kitchen staff who work from Timberview Middle School’s kitchens to provide lunches to the students in Academy District 20 who would normally use the free lunch program.
During our Take Action project, we made 70 reusable cloth masks for our kitchen staff who are part of Sodexo. After the schools were closed as a response to the COVID-19 virus pandemic, the kitchen staff continued to prepare meals, four days a week, to provide lunch for the school children who received free lunches during the school year. We met Mrs. Yesmin, Mrs. Eli, and Mrs. Kathy from Sodexo. Mrs. Kathy helped us deliver the masks to Sodexo as they didn’t want any outside people in the kitchens to help prevent the possible spread of germs. We chose to provide masks so the Sodexo workers could be in a safer environment while continuing to give lunches to the students who don’t have access to lunches at their homes.
We made the masks with two pieces of fabric, ribbon, and a nose piece. First, we sewed the nose piece on one piece of fabric, and then we sewed the fabrics together and ironed the seams open and flat. Next, we turned the fabric right side out and sewed the passageway for the ribbon. Last, we put the ribbon into the masks, and they were ready to be given to Sodexo. We delivered 70 masks to Mrs. Kathy on May 3, 2020, and they were distributed between the 35 staff members on May 4, 2020.
We connected with our local and global communities by making masks for the Sodexo staff to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The impact our Take Action project had on our community was a safer work environment for Sodexo staff. Also, because the masks we made are washable, they will be better for the environment than having to throw away mask after mask and having to buy more. The impact of our project will go on past our involvement because by keeping the kitchen staff safe it creates a safer environment for those who receive lunch from Sodexo and for all who come in contact with Sodexo staff on a daily basis including their families.
What I discovered about myself was that I’m even worse at socializing now that I have only socialized with the same people for about three months. I learned that I am more socially awkward than I thought and that I am scared of sewing machines. The skills we gained that help us as leaders were confidence to socialize with people we didn’t know and compassion to care about the kitchen staff’s wellbeing along with the people the kitchen staff come in contact with. We also learned how to be better at talking to people, asking for help, and accepting help from others. What we learned from others who worked to solve the same problem was how to make the masks, and that the nose pieces will break your needle if you’re not careful. This helped make our project better because it helped us make the masks properly, efficiently, and correctly to help us protect the people wearing them.
We lived the Girl Scout Promise and Law by helping our community. We used our resources wisely by using what we already had at our disposal. We respected ourselves and others by being kind to our kitchen staff and each other. We made the world a better place by helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. Finally, we were considerate and caring of Sodexo’s need for supplies.
A Silver Award Take Action project should provide a solution to an issue that matters to us. We believe that we did a good job and accomplished what we originally aimed to do which was provide support to people helping during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are happy that we have succeeded in making our kitchen staff’s work environment safer for themselves and the meal recipients.
We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.