Girls demonstrate gold standard of community service

Creating a healthy environment and raising awareness for healthy lives placed three Shelby County girls within the spotlight at the Girl Scouts of North–Central Alabama’s recent Women of Distinction luncheon.

“These young ladies from around the community were recognized for their leadership and service projects,” said Girl Scouts spokeswoman Hilary Perry. “The Gold Award requires over 65 hours of planning, community service and evaluations.”

Lindsey Bloom of Pelham, Hanna Cree of Chelsea and Rachel McMullen of Alabaster each received Gold Awards for their commitment to community.

McMullen’s project focused on being responsible for the world around her. She and a friend couldn’t believe how much paper they and their peers at Thompson High School wasted, so they created “Going Green at THS,” a project to collect scrap pieces of paper to be recycled.

“Mother Nature gave us all of these resources but they aren’t unlimited,” she said. “So, why should we throw away all of these trees when we could be recycling what we use.”

The girls placed recycling bins in each of the school’s classrooms and transfer what is collected into a donated recycling dumpster once a week. During the first semester alone, they collected 1.24 tons of paper. This nine weeks she plans to begin collecting plastic bottles as well.

Lindsey Bloom did a bit of collecting of her own.

She asked companies and support groups for unused medical supplies or which she then donated to Cooper Green Hospital for uninsured patients.

Pulling this project off took planning. She had to meet with hospital administrators, research support groups and present her project and goals. She attended each group’s meeting to collect the donated supplies and sought out businesses to donate specialty items. Lindsey has set up an ongoing donation program. Lindsey is a sophomore at Oak Mountain High School.

Hanna Cree, a junior from Chelsea High, also dealt with a medical issue for her project. She wrote about her own struggle with dyslexia.

She wanted to explain to parents and teachers what some of the symptoms were from the pint of view of someone who actually dealt with it day to day.

She alone raised the necessary funds to publish her book by participating in the Girl Scouts’ Fall Product Sale.

Other girls honored included Christen Blackledge of Hueytown High School for “The Youth Shall Lead Them: A Walking Program for Youth and Adults”; Kate Horton of Vestavia Hills High School for “Prayer Garden at Southminster Presbyterian Church”; Erika Hubbard of Moody High School for “Smoke Alarm Drive”; Claire Lewallyn of Vestavia Hills High School/Auburn University for “Hands-on Outdoor Garden and Sitting Area”; Raven Macon of John Carroll Catholic High School for “The Basic Essential Health Fair”; Nancy McColl of Vestavia Hills High School for “Pathways to a Better Community”; Casie Morris of Gadsden City High School for “Revitalization of the Ritz”; and Shannon O’Sheal of Vestavia Hills High School/College of Charleston for “Blankets for the Needy.”

The Women of Distinction Luncheon is the organizations largest fundraiser fo the year.