Monday, June 4, 2018

Newport News Girl Scout Paula-Ann Robertson has earned her Gold Award

Paula-Ann Robertson has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

For her project, “Clothes for a Cause,” Paula-Ann created a clothes closet aimed at helping less fortunate people in the area find suitable garments to wear to a job interview. She ran her closet out of First Christian Church in Hampton, Virginia. Paula-Ann was able to reach a large audience with the help of a free meal program the church runs every Tuesday night. After the guests enjoyed a hot meal, they were given the option to get clothes from the closet with the help of volunteers.

Before the closet was available to the public, Paula-Ann put in a lot of hard work to make sure everything would run smoothly and efficiently. She made the racks and shelves the clothes would be stored on, recruited volunteers and made sure they were informed and gathered plenty of clothes, all before the grand opening of the closet.

Paula-Ann’s project drew attention to groups in the community who did not have access to the resources they needed to live a better life. “Clothes for a Cause” also allowed her to enhance her leadership, communication and critical thinking skills.

“Having completed the journey of this project, I have learned more about myself and the world around me,” Paula-Ann explained. “This project taught me how to lead a group of adults and not let age hold me back.”

With the help of her project, she was able to help several people in the community and work to bring attention to the issue of homelessness in Hampton Roads and the lack of resources available to those people. Paula-Ann got to see, fairly quickly, just how rewarding it was to have done the project.

“One of the happiest moments during my project was when she (a guest of the clothes closet), got a new job using the resources and skills that we provided her. I learned that little things like this during the long project process make the hard work worth it,” she said.

To help keep the closet up and running, Paula-Ann created and delivered operating procedures for members of the church and other volunteers. She also made a website with tips on how to start a clothes closet in other areas of need. Click here to visit the page.