United Way funds help support Girl Scout programs

Thursday, January 3, 2013
Photo provided Anna Beth Williams from Troop 124 colors with a child at the Community Christmas party.

An agency that benefits from the generosity of those that give to the United Way each year are the local troops of the Girl Scouts. Although money is not directly given to the troops in Kennett, the funding given does have an impact on all the area troops, girl scouts and boy scouts alike. Troops in the local areas are directly under the Missouri Girl Scouts of the Heartland.

Representatives from the MGSH out of Dexter, Mo., Renee Trout, resource development manager, and Amy Hargrave, membership marketing specialist for the Kennett area, and Libby Mobley, chairman of the United Way, discussed how the United Way helps the organization each year, regarding programs, etc. The Kennett, Mo., area is one of three Girl Scout areas that is helped by the UW. The others include Sikeston, Mo., and Cape Girardeau, Mo.

"Here in the Southeast region, which is the area that I cover, is one of only three United Ways. Cape, Sikeston and Kennett are all that we have available to us to do that so again, the support is very important for us to be able to provide people like Amy to come down and recruit in this area [and] to find leaders that will work with girls," Trout said. She noted how Hargrave has to come to the area and actively seeks troop leaders for the girls, citing the economy as the reason most women are not stay at home moms anymore that are readily available to be a troop leader.

According to Trout, without United Way funding, the organization would not be able to have as many membership specialists available to solicit those troop leaders who are willing to work with the girls. Usually, Girl Scouts receives $7,000 in funding from United Way.

Just like the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts are also involved in community projects such as the Delta Children's Home Auction and the Community Christmas Party.

Other troops in the area include Malden, Mo., Holcomb, Mo., Clarkton, Mo., and Campbell, Mo.

Hargrave added that Dunklin County is one of the better counties for scouting after having lost some leaders and troops in recent years. According to Trout, scouting is on the rise again.

"A lot of times what we use United Way funding for is what we call outreach. We go into these areas that are lagging behind in membership whether it's a school and we work with a Boys and Girls Club, through the school to get things going again. Because, we have such a strong base in Kennett, we're able to kind of spread that out to some of these smaller areas as well," Trout said.

Hargrave added that 10 girls in Kennett have earned the gold award, which is the highest honor. To earn these awards, certain badges have to be earned as well as be a participant in a leadership project and career exploration, cumulnating in a community service project.

"It's girl-led, girl-planned," Trout said, noting that it is the Girl Scout's individual responsibility with the approval of the council.

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