Girl Scouts Take the Lead to Advance United Nations’ Global Sustainable Development Goals

There’s no goal too big for Girl Scouts to tackle—that’s for sure! Whether it’s harvesting a community garden they planted to feed the hungry, developing innovative solutions to curtail declining bee populations, or initiating programs to combat bullying in schools, Girl Scouts are the go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders who take action every single day to create a better world for us all.

On September 25, 2015, the 193 countries of the United Nations adopted a set of global goals to help transform our world by ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity and peace through partnership as part of a sustainable development agenda.

In the agenda, UN leaders detail their ambitious and transformational vision for a better world, while providing a glimpse into our current challenges and discussing the steps we can take to solve them on an international, sustainable scale.

This is where Girl Scouts comes in! As the leaders and change-makers of today and tomorrow, we are prepared to play a role and continue to work together to build a better world—much like the one the UN is envisioning. Color us inspired!

So in support of these sustainable development goals and this extraordinary vision of hope and change, we are rallying Girl Scouts to share how they’re already taking action to contribute to a better, more sustainable future by working specifically to support advancement in the following areas:

• Poverty
• Life on land / Life below water
• Food Security and Hunger
• Health
• Education
• Gender equality / women and girls’ empowerment
• Environment

And guess what? In the past few weeks alone, Girl Scouts who have participated in ToGetHerThere: The Girl Scout Challenge have clocked in over 44,000 hours of work to advance these sustainable development goals—so amazing!

And what’s even more amazing? Girl Scouts participating in the challenge volunteered (on average) more than 89.46 hours, compared to a national average of 36 hours in a year.* Among the project categories of Girl Scout submissions, girls dedicated the most hours in total towards projects within education, reflecting Girl Scouts’ desire to create sustainable progress in society. Girls are not only empowering themselves, but also empowering others through education, which impacts the world’s future potential. Education was followed by, respectively, health, poverty, gender equality and empowering women and girls, food security and hunger, environment, and life on land and life below water.

Check out how Girl Scouts are taking the lead to build a better world for us all, and help us show the world what girls are made of. Share these stories on social media and invest in her and your future by becoming a Girl Scout donor, today. Your investment makes possible critical, life-changing, girl-led programming, while also supporting each girl during a crucial time in her life and development—a gift that will continue to benefit her and society for years to come. Because when girls succeed, we all win.

Invest in girls. Change the world.


Multiply the impact. Challenge five of your friends to do the same!

*Source for national average, all ages: U.S. Census

Source: Girl Scouts Take the Lead to Advance United Nations’ Global Sustainable Development Goals

This Giving Tuesday Think Girl Scouts, Think Major Impact!

Whether they’re feeding the hungry in their community with both food and kindness, making life more comfortable for furry friends at the local animal shelter, or planting an eco-friendly rain garden (just to share a few examples!), Girl Scouts have been busy building a better world all year long. In fact, Girl Scout Gold Award recipients alone have dedicated 500,000 hours of service to their communities this year—an impressive number representing only a fraction of service hours Girl Scouts spend improving our communities and the world every day.


Now it’s your turn to take the lead like a Girl Scout and help us build a better world! That’s right. November 29th is Giving Tuesday—when we take a pause from the hectic holiday season to support and honor organizations like Girl Scouts, working so hard and so passionately to make our future a little brighter for girls and for everyone. And we’re asking you to be part of the impact.

But first, let’s get inspired—together! Check out some of our amazing G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)® stories and learn about how Girl Scouts are creating positive change. And while you’re at it, invite five friends to get inspired right along with you!

See that? Your investment makes possible critical, life-changing, girl-led programming that combines life skills, STEM, the outdoors, and entrepreneurship with civic engagement: everything girls need to build a better world today and tomorrow—for her, for you, and for all of us.

It’s a fact: Girl Scouts are the leaders and change-makers of today and tomorrow. Your gift will support her now during a critical time in her life and development, and continue to benefit her and society for years to come. Now that’s what we call impact!

This Giving Tuesday, give to Girl Scouts—and build a better world.



Source: This Giving Tuesday Think Girl Scouts, Think Major Impact!

Girl Scouts Ensure a Happy Birthday for Local Foster Children

Birthday parties can be easily taken for granted. Most of us can count on family and friends to come together with gifts, balloons, decorations, and of course, a birthday cake complete with candles! But for children in the foster care system, a traditional birthday party isn’t always a given.

Thanks to the generosity of Girl Scouts in the Manatee 4 Service Unit, a number of local children will have everything they need to celebrate their next birthday. The girls collected and donated supplies to create “birthday kits” to be distributed to children in Manatee, DeSoto, and Sarasota Counties via the Safe Children Coalition.


The birthday kits include such items as cake mix, frosting, and candles; baking pans; party hats, decorations, and favors; plates, cups, and plastic utensils; goody bags; party invitations; gift wrap; and gifts.

Girl Scout troop leader Karey Papin, who works as a Registered Nurse Case Manager for the Safe Children Coalition, said that there are currently about 1,450 children in foster care or living with a relative caregiver or in facility care. “We unfortunately had a severe spike in [the number of] children this year,” she explained.


With so many children and families in need, the birthday kits couldn’t have come at a better time. When the project was completed, approximately 45 kits were ready to go. That’s a lot of celebrating!

“Every single person can impact the joy of children going through this experience,” Papin added. “We need and welcome more outreach projects on every level to support these families and children.” If your troop would like to learn more about the many ways they can help, contact the Safe Children Coalition at 866-661-5656.

~Lori Tomlinson is the Manager of Communications and Marketing for Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc.

5 Ways to Shake up Your Family’s Halloween Routine

Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc.

lamp-halloween-lantern-pumpkinYou’ve carved the pumpkin. You’ve bobbed for apples. You already had to replace that stash of candy meant for trick-or-treaters. While Halloween is a favored time of year for many families, the routine can become as stale as last year’s candy corn.

There are many creative ways to perk up your Girl Scout family’s Halloween celebration without spending a lot of money, AND while reinforcing the things your daughter is learning in school (works for boys, too!). Here are just a few:

1. Integrate a few science-related activities into your celebration. A quick internet search for “Halloween science experiments” can lead to anything from monster slime and bubbling brew to alien eyeballs and flaming ghosts.  Click here for fun suggestions to get you started. BONUS: Capture the experiments on video, and stash the file away for your kids to share with their children someday.

20920123141_495a03d391_o2. Explore your family history and cultural heritage through Halloween traditions. Spend some time with your…

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Paying Tribute: Dr. Elinor Crawford

by Sue Stewart, CEO, Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc.

We are saddened to share that our friend and champion, Dr. Elinor Crawford, died on Saturday, August 27 following a brief illness.


We remember her for so many reasons. She was a friend, advocate for all women and girls, creator of the Sanibel Shelling program with Betty Ethal, board member, committee member and so much more. In 1987 she was a member of the Girl Scout Scholarship Committee which was subsequently renamed The Dr. Elinor Crawford Girl Scout College Scholarship Fund, in her honor. She served on the committee up through this past year and was proud to read each application and girl story. She saved all the thank you letters written by the girls and savored their accomplishments.

Elinor was a community leader and a founding member of numerous local organizations such as The Women’s Resource Center, UN Women, and American Association of University Women, to name a few. She and Betty enjoyed their civic engagement, friends from throughout the country, and travel.

2014 Scholarship

As a professor of physical education at the University of Northern Iowa for thirty years, she served as a member of the committee that contributed to the writing and passage of Title IX, the most significant piece of federal legislation impacting girls and women in education. As one of her friends shared, “I hope Elinor watched the Olympics. If not for her work, we would not have seen the incredible successes of the girls and women in Rio, and their significant awards resulting in Gold.”

Dr. Elinor Crawford was a woman of courage, confidence, and character, who changed the world. She leaves behind her dear friend Susan Chapman, a niece, many friends throughout the country, and thousands of Girl Scout sisters — women and girls — past, present and future. A service and celebration of life will be held at the Girl Scout Event and Conference Center. Arrangements are pending.

Giving Challenge 2016:​ Will You “Be the One?”

Fall is perhaps our favorite time of year at Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida. School is back in session, new Girl Scout troops are forming, continuing troops reunite after the summer break, and the annual Giving Challenge kicks off.

What is the Giving Challenge? During a 24-hour period from noon – noon Sept. 20 – 21, donations up to $100 made to Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida through the Giving Challenge website may be doubled, or even tripled, thanks to the generous support of The Patterson Foundation. That means, if you donated to Girl Scouts during the 2015 Giving Challenge, your 2016 gift of $25 – $100 will be matched 1:1. If you didn’t donate to us during the 2015 Giving Challenge, your gift of $25 – $100 this year will be matched 2:1. How else can your triple your investment with the click of a button?

When you think about, the Giving “Challenge” is a relatively easy one. On the other hand, girls face difficult challenges every day. They must navigate a world filled with negative peer pressure and mixed messages about what it means to be a girl and where their place is in society. Through Girl Scouting, girls learn that their place is anywhere they want it to be: in the home, at the office, in the lab, at the drafting table, in uniform… the possibilities are endless. As a donor, YOU make this possible! Thank you!

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Last year, dollars raised through the Giving Challenge helped support girls in a variety of STEAM-related programs and outdoor activities across our council. (STEAM refers to activities related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Design, and Math). From one-day events to week-long day camps, girls had the opportunity to explore the world of STEAM, as a fun topic of study today and potential career path in the future. In addition, outdoor education activities helped girls gain physical strength and confidence while building an appreciation for the environment and an understanding of their role in protecting it. As a 2015 donor, YOU made this possible! Thank you!


This year, we will focus funds on helping girls take on leadership roles in their schools and communities. Whether they serve as media representatives for the council through the Media Marvels program, work together in groups on community service projects to earn the Girl Scout Bronze or Silver Award, or spearhead a more comprehensive, sustainable take-action project for the prestigious Gold Award, we will be here to support them every step of the way. As a 2016 donor, YOU will Be the One who makes this possible! Thank you!

Girl Scouting is for EVERY girl. No girl is ever turned away, regardless of her family’s financial situation. We are proud to offer need-based scholarships to cover registration and program fees. The more funding we receive from the community, the more girls we can serve across our entire ten-county service area.

For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts have been facing challenges head-on with courage, confidence, and character. Now it’s your turn. Will you Be the One who: encourages her to reach new heights?  Feeds her ambition?  Shows her there are no limits? Piques her interest in science, technology, engineering, and math? Shows her that she matters? Helps her change the world? Please considering making a personally meaningful gift to Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida during the 24-hour Giving Challenge, Sept. 20 – 21. Click here to get started. And again, thank you!

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The 2016 Giving Challenge is made possible by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and The Patterson Foundation with support from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation, and the Herald-Tribune Media Group.