“Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout” is certainly true for the members of The Girl Scout Alumnae Silver Trefoil Group of The Villages, Florida. This group just completed its 6th Annual Pajama/Book Drive and collected almost 5,000 pairs of pajamas and 4,000 books for the homeless children of Lake, Marion, and Sumter counties.
These numbers reflect the generosity of the Villagers who brought new books and pajamas to their recreation centers and put them in red collection boxes maintained by the GS alumnae group. The Alumnae then bagged and counted the donations and delivered them to United Way for distribution to homeless children in the area. The GS Alumnae began their campaign six years ago with one collection box bringing in 150 pairs of pajamas.
Now, with the support and cooperation of The Villages Recreation Department, they maintain boxes in every recreation center located in The Villages. Over the past six years, the GS Alumnae have collected 15,050 pairs of pajamas and 13,634 books with a collection value of well over a quarter million dollars.
As impressive as these numbers are, the true value of their efforts is in the impact the pajamas and books have on the recipients. Giving a homeless child something as simple as a pair of pajamas allows them to sleep in something besides what they wear to school, it’s easily taken in their schoolbag from place to place, and most importantly, lets them know that someone cares.