Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Troop 272 originally hosted Operation Christmas Child three years ago as part of the girls’ Girl Scout Bronze Award project. It has since grown into a yearly tradition, growing bigger and better with each passing event.
Madalynne Brunet, Girl Scout Leader for Troop 272, said, “Operation Christmas Child benefits children in all parts of the world, [including] some of the most poverty stricken countries there are.”
This year Troop 272 held their annual event at the Trevi Entertainment Center in Lake Elsinore on Saturday, November 9, 2013. The all-day event was open to every Girl Scout in the Southwest Region, as well as surrounding San Goronio Council service areas in Riverside and San Bernardino. Over 500 Girl Scouts from Lake Elsinore, as well as Wrightwood, 29 Palms, Yucaipa, Corona, Fontana, River Rock and other cities joined the effort of packing all 1,057 shoeboxes.
The Girl Scouts and volunteers filled these festive shoeboxes with toys and other items for shipment to thousands of children around the globe as Christmas gifts. Troop 272 began the collection process early this year, utilizing troop funds they earned from selling Girl Scout cookies and fall products.
Numerous other Girl Scout troops from the Southwest Region also donated gifts and supplies used on the day of the event, as well as packing donations like tote bags and shoeboxes from the TJ Maxx in the Menifee Marketplace.
GSSGC’s VP of Product Sales and Retail, Elizabeth Locke-Thomas, also worked with Girl Scout Troop 272 to donate all manner of Girl Scout merchandise, such as plush flamingos and dolphins, water bottles and colorful tote bags.
“We want others to know that Girl Scouts do more than just sell cookies.”
Using assembly line format, girls worked down the line deciding which gender and age they were filling a gift box for, then selected items accordingly. Girls packed as many boxes as they wished for as long as supplies lasted.
In addition to toys, each gift package contained items such as school supplies, clothing, and hygiene kits. After the event, all gift boxes were turned over to Samaritans Purse, the nonprofit that utilizes their extensive global network to deliver these boxes.
“My troop and I do this because this is our way of making the world a better place. And we want others to know that Girl Scouts do more than just sell cookies. We want to share our blessing with other children in need,” said Ms. Brunet.
“This is our way of making the world a better place.”