October 22, 2020

Area Girl Scouts Make It Sew Easy to Reopen

 

Girl Scouts of Colorado logo

During Colorado’s stay-at-home order, issued to combat the pandemic, The Independence Center’s halls were empty for almost three months. So when restrictions were finally eased, the staff was eager to welcome people back into the building. To prepare, a re-opening committee was formed to discuss the precautions necessary to keep visitors and staff safe.

At the top of the list was procuring masks for people who were unable to supply their own. At the time, finding any type of personal protection equipment was still challenging. But Suzi Arnold, The IC’s acting Independent Living Program Manager, had an idea. Why not reach out to the Girl Scouts?

Since 1942, the Girl Scouts slogan has been “Do a good turn daily.” According to the organization’s website, it is a “reminder of the many ways girls can contribute positively to the lives of others.” As a lifetime Girl Scout herself who was also employed with them for over 20 years, Suzi knew that a partnership between local troops and The IC could be beneficial for both.

Suzi reached out to a local Girl Scout volunteer Facebook group to explain the need, and soon several troops were onboard. It also quickly became a family affair when Suzi’s sister, Traci Morgan, volunteered to record video tutorials on sewing masks without elastic, which was in short supply. One of Suzi’s daughters, Andrina McClelland, helped coordinate efforts by tracking donations, arranging to pick up finished masks, and delivering them to The IC. In the end, girls from five troops – #40409, #43893, #41660, #40960, and #43530 – donated almost 400 handmade or pre-purchased masks.

“The Girl Scouts are great,” says Suzi. “For them, it’s all about service to the community, just like it is with The IC. So it was a perfect partnership!”