COVID-19 has created a big shift in the way that we socialize with others. Hangouts have turned into FaceTime calls, meeting have changed to Zoom, and visiting elderly loved ones has become almost virtually impossible. At the beginning of the pandemic, senior citizen homes were tragically hit at high numbers by the COVID virus. This led to strict procedures being put in place to keep the elderly safe. Unfortunately, with this came a negative side effect– severe isolation. According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan, in June 2020, 56% of older adults felt isolated from others. Girl Scout Troop 02022 decided to do something to help curve that feeling of isolation and loneliness in senior citizen homes.
The multi-level troop, that has been meeting virtually on Zoom for the last few months, participated in the GSUSA “Cupid Crew” national service project. The project invited Girl Scouts to create Valentine’s Day cards to send to residents in assisted living homes. Troop leader Michele talked to the girls about the problems many senior citizens have, including combating loneliness. The girls were asked to create 62 cards and took that as a challenge. In the end, a total of 117 cards were created and delivered to Brightview Assisted Living in Bel Air, Maryland! They knew that a gesture like this would put a smile on many people’s faces and show the seniors that they have a community that cares for them deeply.
The pandemic hasn’t slowed Troop 02022 down. In addition to community service projects and virtual meetings the girls also participated in the 2020 – 2021 cookie sale. They were able to donate cookies to frontline workers at the Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and last year, to the Bel Air Fire Department. They also donated items to the Harford Family House while working on the philanthropist badge. This is the troop’s second year together. They have already made plans to participate in another project this summer at the Bear Legacy Trail, so keep your eyes and ears open for more news from Troop 02022.