MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO (KPLR)- Saturday morning, Girl Scouts and their families braved below-freezing temps in Maryland Heights to help Hurricane Sandy survivors on the East Coast.
“I think all you can do is run in this weather,” said Kathryn Kiefer, chief communications officer for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. “It’s cold and that’s perfect for running.”
Some found it perfect for dancing while waiting at the registration table. Young ladies of all ages kept moving to keep warm before the Believe In Girls Run and Walk. The start line was just out front the Girl Scout office doors.
“So, we’re collecting mittens, gloves and blankets,” Kiefer explained. “Those people may never return to their homes. Those who are in homes are certainly not living in great conditions.”
Organizers did not originally plan for the first-annual run to be a donation drive. Then, Sandy ripped through the eastern seaboard.
“We thought about what we could do turn this into an event to really help others,” explained Girl Scout chief executive officer Donna Martin. “That’s what Girl Scouting is all about. It’s about taking care of other people.”
Ameren was another proud sponsor in the run. It was also another reminder of something else survivors still didn’t have weeks after the storm passed: electricity.
“Many of [the survivors] are living in damaged homes,” Martin pointed out. “They may be unprotected. They’ve lost everything that they have.”
So when Girl Scout chief operating officer Bonnie Barczykowsi and her twin Barb Jacobsmeyer saw all the freezing little girls joining them on the run, the women said they were proud.
“I think it’s awesome,” Jacobsmeyer said. “I think it’s great that they have the courage to come out today. I think it’s great that they’re out here. It says a lot that they are willing to help others. It makes you feel warm inside.”
“ You need something to make you feel warm inside,” Barczykowski laughed.
The Girl Scouts launch their Fall Product Program next weekend, Dec. 1-2. The program teaches girls the important skills of goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics through the sale of goodies from the Trophy Nut Co.
More information: girlscoutsem.org.