Twenty-eight Riverside Tappahannock Hospital patients had their days brightened Sept. 23 when five Girl Scout Juniors from Troop 813 stopped by to deliver gift baskets. The gifts were a culmination of a months-long service project that earned the girls the Bronze Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Junior can earn.

"These young ladies did more than just brighten the day of our patients," said John Peterman, Vice President and Administrator of Riverside Tappahannock Hospital. "Their commitment to the people of our community, and dedication to helping make someone else's day better, illustrates what makes this community so special. People of all ages here are working together to help make and keep each other healthy. We are a community hospital and these young ladies showcased their support of community. We couldn't be prouder of them or more honored they chose Riverside for their service project." Girl Scout Troop 813

To earn the Bronze Award, each of the Junior Girl Scouts in the Troop had to learn the leadership and planning skills necessary to follow through on a project that makes a positive impact on the community. Working toward the Girl Scout Bronze Award demonstrates a commitment to helping others, improving the community and the world, and becoming the best the Girl Scout can be.

The Troop, led by Jennifer Lowery and Judy Reinhardt, helped the girls decide on a service project, but the Girl Scouts themselves did all the planning and execution.

The Troop spent 20 hours on the project, beginning with the planning and selection of the community group to support. They chose to support the patients at the Riverside Tappahannock Hospital knowing that a little extra attention during a challenging time can go a long way. They decided on the gift baskets for the patients and elected to host a community yard sale to raise the money needed to purchase the goods for the baskets.

The Troop held their own yard sale in July, hoping to earn at least $250 to purchase the fillings for the baskets. The Troop surpassed their goal, earning $366, which allowed for them to make an even bigger difference than they initially thought they could. Shopping and delivering the gift baskets was the most rewarding part of the whole project.

On Sept. 23, five of the eight Junior Girl Scouts of Troop 813 arrived at Riverside Tappahannock Hospital armed with 28 gift baskets packed with little luxuries such as puzzle books, socks, mugs, hand sanitizer, tissues and candies.

The goal, the girls said, was to brighten the patients' day as much as they could, despite dealing with a significant illness or recovering from surgery.

The Troop, thanks to the extra money raised from the yard sale, is now planning to build another 20 baskets to deliver to the residents of an assisted living community in Tappahannock and brainstorming their next project to help more young ladies earn their Bronze Award.

Published: October 7, 2014