Saturday, September 2, 2017

Gold Award Spotlight: Volunteer Transportation for the Sullivan House

Grace, a Virginia Beach Girl Scout, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts.

Already a volunteer at the Sullivan House, a subsidized apartment home for seniors, Grace asked a social worker there about further needs at the home. After learning that approximately 40 percent of the residents do not have a reliable source of transportation, Grace created a volunteer-run transportation program. Grace set up a system so that after volunteers apply to drive and are approved, they are given access to a secure website where they can sign up to give rides to the residents at the Sullivan House who have posted a ride need.

To recruit volunteers, Grace developed a presentation that she shared at churches and community group meetings in her community.

“Since my grandparents live far away, I have always enjoyed getting the opportunity to spend time with residents at the Sullivan House,” Grace said.

In addition to the residents at the Sullivan House gaining a reliable transportation system, both they and the drivers developed meaningful relationships with one another.

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