Sunday, October 26, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Alone Without a Home

Hampton Girl Scout Charlotte has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting. Charlotte also earned the Girl Scout Bronze and Silver Awards, represented Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast as a National Delegate and served as a member of the board of directors.

For her project, Charlotte worked with Commonwealth Catholic Charities to help refugees who recently moved to the Peninsula to acclimate to the area. Charlotte helped to provide clean, furnished apartments for three families and supplied food and personal care items for each of the families. She also created translation cards that she attached to furnishings and household items to help families learn English. Finally, she created a welcome manual for each family that included English phrases and information about local schools, resources and community services.

“I chose this project because my church sponsored a refugee family a few years ago, and I was amazed at their resiliency with the support of the church,” Charlotte said. “I wanted to also help refugee families as they transition to life on the Peninsula.”

Charlotte also made a presentation at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hampton, where she shared information about the circumstances that lead to a person becoming a refugee, the process that refugees go through to move to the United States and what people can do to help. The Commonwealth Catholic Charities will continue to use Charlotte’s welcome manual to help refugees acclimate to their new community in Virginia.

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in their community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Charlotte to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.