St. Louis, MO – June 20, 2018 – This past April, eastern Missouri G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM made a difference in the lives of so many individuals and families living below the federal poverty line. With generous support from their families, neighbors and communities, Girl Scouts collected more than 1.6 million personal care items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, diapers, shampoo, soap and shaving cream.
Twenty years ago, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri started its largest annual Council-wide community service project, April Showers. Since 1998, Girl Scouts have collected more than 22 million personal care items—each and every tube of toothpaste, case of diapers, bottle of shampoo and first-aid kit is distributed to those eastern Missourians in need. Many of April Showers recipients are eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits which do not apply to the purchase of personal care items. Consequently, hundreds of thousands of households count on April Showers donations to their local shelters and food pantries for these essentials.
“I am so proud of our Girl Scouts,” said Bonnie Barczykowski, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. “They accomplish amazing things and work tirelessly in our community to make positive changes. We would also like to recognize our Girl Scout family, friends, neighbors and supporters who continue to support Girl Scouting in eastern Missouri through participation in lifechanging initiatives like April Showers. Our organization has thrived for the last one hundred years because we have remained true to our mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.”
The annual collection takes place over two weekends and kicks off with Showering the Community, an event where community supporters are invited to donate items at select Walmarts, Schnucks and other locations across eastern Missouri. Also, during this first weekend, Girl Scouts go door-to-door distributing recyclable plastic bags and return a week later to collect bags filled with personal care items. This year also marked the 20th anniversary of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri’s partnership with Operation Food Search. Operation Food Search and more than 100 other local nonprofits distribute the collected items to individuals, families, shelters and food pantries.
“We are very grateful to partner with eastern Missouri Girl Scouts,” said Sunny Schaefer, Executive Director of Operation Food Search. “For those families struggling with food insecurity, personal care items are often too expensive to purchase and become a luxury for them. This important collection ensures that families receive the essentials for personal hygiene and, as a result, boots overall self-esteem.”
Community service plays a huge role in Girl Scouting and is evident in practically every activity G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM undertake—including April Showers. To learn more visit girlscoutsem.org/join.