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Girl Scout sends school supply donations to Afghanistan to earn Gold Award

October, 2011

Houston – Girl Scout Catherine F. made backpacks and collected school supplies to donate to students in Afghanistan through Marshall Plan, a nonprofit dedicated to helping rebuild communities in Afghanistan, to earn the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. Less than five percent of girls who join Girl Scouts earn this recognition.

"I learned how good it feels to help others even if you may not know them," said Catherine, a junior at Stratford High School. "I learned exactly what it means to be a leader and a Girl Scout, and that there are always people who will be willing to help you achieve your goals."

Earning the Gold Award is a significant honor that requires recipients to demonstrate outstanding leadership skills, career planning, community involvement and personal development. It takes more than 100 service hours and two to three years of intensive work to complete the award requirements, which include planning and completing a project that is a service to the community.

"I chose this project because I knew it was reaching further than I ever could have before," said Catherine. "I never imagined that I would be able to help people in different countries through the Girl Scout program. This gave me an opportunity to do something completely different and make a difference in someone else’s life that needs it."

For her project, Catherine led a team of volunteers in sewing 53 backpacks to be donated to Marshall Plan. She then collected school supplies to fill the backpacks, including pencils, rulers, crayons, colored pencils, scissors, notebooks, paper, erasers and more.

"Catherine’s Gold Award project taught her many new concepts," said Laura F., Catherine’s mother. "She learned about advance planning and creating a timeline. Catherine learned how to instruct and supervise volunteers and how to effectively communicate her guidelines and needs to others."

Catherine has been a member of Girl Scouts for 11 years. At Stratford High School, she is a member of the golf team. She is also a member of the West Houston Chapter of the National Charity League and sings in the youth choir at Chapelwood United Methodist Church. Following graduation she plans to attend college to study speech pathology.

Girl Scouts of the USA is the world's preeminent organization for girls, with a membership of more than 3.7 million girls and adults. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Chartered by GSUSA to provide Girl Scouting locally, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council is one of the largest Girl Scout councils in the country serving more than 70,000 girl members and 19,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit


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