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(Image courtesy of Girl Scouts of Western New York)
(Image courtesy of Girl Scouts of Western New York)

WNY's top volunteer-led organization celebrates National Volunteer Appreciation Month

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Thu, Apr 1st 2021 09:15 pm

Girl Scouts of Western New York honors its nearly 6,000 adult volunteers

By the Girl Scouts of Western New York

As the region’s top volunteer-led organization, Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY) celebrates the nearly 6,000 adult volunteers that serve to build girls of courage, confidence and character, throughout GSWNY’s nine counties of Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming. As Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low said, “Truly, ours is a circle of friendship united by ideals.”

Girl Scouts knows that, when communities support volunteers, their contributions grow, and everyone wins! Throughout the month of April, GSWNY is hosting some creative ways to say thank you to volunteers through a series of special blog and social media features, hand-written and mailed thank you cards, a staff video message, online and in-person special shop promotions, and more.

For over 100 years, Girl Scouts has offered girls the best leadership development experience in the world. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a research-based leadership development program where girls develop a strong sense of self, learn positive values, seek out and overcome challenges, develop and maintain healthy relationships, and develop interest in and learn ways to positively impact their community.

Honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong are just a few of the elements from the Girl Scout law and keys that the Girl Scout community lives by each and every day.

Girl Scout volunteers make the world a better place and being part of a movement means that small ways of giving back have a huge impact! Girl Scout volunteers don’t just make a difference in the individual lives of girls, they also make a huge impact in their communities!

During the year and COVID-19 pandemic, local troop leaders and their troops found ways to give back in enormous ways with hundreds of thousands of care items such as: “Hometown Heroes” initiative – partnered with local companies to donate Girl Scout cookies to hometown heroes – first responders, created handmade masks and caps for first responders, cleared parks and trails of debris, collected and donated school supplies for children retuning back to school, collected and donated toys and gifts during the holiday season to families in need, and more. Girl Scouts are always able to adjust and step up in difficult times.

“This past year has been tough, but together Girl Scout volunteers have kept moving forward, adapting, and making the best of difficult times,” GSWNY CEO Alison Wilcox said. “Girl Scout volunteers provide girls with the support to grow, lead and change the world through their perseverance and dedication.”

Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) studies show that, through volunteering with Girl Scouts, troop leaders experience benefits that include a sense of mattering, purpose and full engagement with life – knowing that their activities are aligned with their deeply held values and true self. Also, through volunteering with Girl Scouts, 90% of troop leaders feel they make a difference in the lives of girls and 83% of troop leaders say they gain a sense of purpose volunteering with Girl Scouts.

The impact of Girl Scouts is wide-reaching as the Girl Scout alum community is over 50 million strong. According to (GSRI) studies, nearly three quarters of alums said that Girl Scouts helped to set them on a path for achievement and success, develop their passions and interests, and connected them to something bigger than themselves – linking them to community and to a network of girls and women around the world.

This month and every month, Girl Scouts is thankful for the thousands of volunteers who serve with and on behalf of girls to help them realize their own potential and build a lifetime of leadership.

To learn more about volunteering, girl membership, or GSWNY’s programs in STEM, life skills, outdoors (register for summer camp) and entrepreneurship, visit www.gswny.org or call 1-888-837-6410.

Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY) serves nearly 14,000 girls and 6,000 adult volunteers.

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