I first recited the Girl Scout Promise and Law when I joined Girl Scouts as a Daisy when I was in kindergarten. Since that time, I have been involved in Girl Scouts, earning badges, attending camp, selling cookies, performing service projects, and learning new things. When it came time to earn my Girl Scout Gold Award, I decided to return to an organization that I had previously helped with a service project, called Claris Health. Claris Health is a community-based organization in Los Angeles, providing low cost medical and support services. I had previously organized and hosted a baby shower for the expectant mothers of Claris Health in 2013 as part of a faith-related badge called the Marian Medal. My experiences in volunteering there motivated me to return and to start my own project.

For my Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting, I proposed a project whereby I would sew baby hats and bags for the expectant mothers of Claris Health. I proposed my project to the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, and my project was approved. I spent over eighty hours, over the course of five months, sewing sixty bags and nearly three hundred infant hats for the expectant mothers at Claris Health. It was very rewarding when I presented these baby gifts to the young, expectant mothers at Claris Health in September 2016. I feel like I made a difference, and many of the moms told me how meaningful my gifts were to them. It was a challenging project, requiring hard work, but I learned that I can do amazing things if I work hard and feel passionate about what I am doing.

My Gold Award project was so meaningful to me and others. It was a challenging project but I made it. Along the way I overcame obstacles, learned, taught, and most importantly touched lives. The reactions on mother’s faces truly touched my heart. I realized a small impact can have a huge impact on a life. I am so grateful that my journey has come to a close and I couldn’t be more proud.

by Madeline Brown

Madeline Brown is a Santa Monica girl scout