American Heritage Girls Troop MO 1410 help the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri!

Here is all of the registered girls of AHG Troop MO1410 that helped make the chew toys. Girls are: top row: Addison Blankenship, Emmy Vandeven, Emma Smith, Ryleigh Mejean, Caidyn Strand, Alexis Laws, Annabell Nash, and Kristan Blankenship. Middle Row: Rachel Grover, Josie Stroder, Isabella Turner, Liberty Phelps, Rachel Brink, and Sadie Poston. Front row: Sophia Turner, Anna Vandeven, and Jaycee Hazelwood.

American Heritage Girl, Caidyn Strand, 15, decided to raise awareness for the need of loving animals who need adoption. She recently adopted a kitten in December from the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri and wanted to give back to the organization and the pets living there who need loving homes.

For her Dolley Madison Level Award project with American Heritage Girls Troop MO1410, she decided she wanted to make dog chew toys out of recycled denim with her troop. The Dolley Madison level award requires that a girl plan, organize, promote and implement a community outreach activity, with a minimum of 15 hours participation. She must also first get approval from her Unit Leader before she can proceed with her project.

Once Caidyn finally settled on her project idea and got her Unit Leader's approval, she immediately called local organizations and non-profits including Birthright of Cape (where she volunteers in the Maternity Department) and Safe House for Women Thrift Store, to see if they would donate used denim for her project. They quickly wanted to help and donated all they they could for her cause. Elizabeth, the Store Manager at Safe House, even collected denim for three weeks, where Caidyn would go pick up the donations weekly.

Once she collected and cleaned all donated denim (approx. 6 large loads), she began cutting all of it. We estimated about 80 pieces of denim in capris, shorts, skirts, pants and shirts. She made small enough strips so her AHG Troop could easily make the chew toys. The cutting alone took nearly 12 hours.

Here is our entire group that helped; AHG girls and their families.

This morning, her Troop showed up ready to serve! Caidyn gave instructions to all her volunteers and away they went! They made over 250 dog chew toys! After assembling, her Patriot Unit (girls 14-18 years old) went to the Humane Society and dropped off their donations and also picked up three pups for the day through their "Adventure Tails" Program! Obie, Jenga, and King were full of energy and spunk! The girls took them to the Lutheran Home and the Veteran's Home to Bless the residents, as well as bring awareness to the needs of the animals that need homes at the Humane Society. This part was their favorite part; they all bonded with their new furry friends and didn't want to bring them back. It was bittersweet for sure.

The girls and leaders had so much fun serving in their community and bringing smiles along the way!

The Mission of American Heritage Girls is "building women of integrity through service to God, family, community, and country." AHG is the leading Christ-centered character and leadership development program for girls 5-18 years old. Troop MO 1410 was established in 2016 and is chartered through Jackson Crossroads Church.

The girls wanted to bury Caidyn with all the chew toys they made, so we got a picture of that. Back row: Kristan Blankenship, Ryleigh Mejean, Emma Smith, Emmy Vandeven, Addison Blankenship, Alexis Laws, and Annabell Nash. Middle row: Josie Stroder, Rachel Grover, Isabella Turner, Liberty Phelps, Rachel Brink, and Sadie Poston. Front row: Sophia Turner, Anna Vandeven, and Jaycee Hazelwood. Floor: Caidyn Strand (project leader and organizer).
Caidyn's Unit, The Patriot Unit (girls 14-18) went and picked up the furry friends at the Humane Society for the day. Left to right: Annabell Nash with "Obie", Addison Blankenship, Kristan Blankenship, Ryleigh Mejean with "King", and Caidyn Strand with "Jenga".
We got a quick photo before we went to visit the residents at the Lutheran Home in Cape. Left to right: Ryleigh Mejean with "King", Addison Blankenship with "Obie", Caidyn Strand with "Jenga", Kristan Blankenship, and Annabell Nash.