My Gold Award project focused on the needy elderly in the community. Since Hurricane Katrina, many New Orleans’ elderly have lost everything. They had to start over, which of course is not easy. In the summer of 2006, I worked at an assisted living facility. I had the chance to see firsthand how little some of the elderly had after starting over. I decided to do my Gold Award around the neediest elderly that are trying to remain independent and for those who had to start over. Even the elderly need the basics such as toothpaste and shampoo and unfortunately these items are not always affordable, so I decided to make toiletry bags and distribute them in the community. The methods in which I went about to help this issue was by getting word out. Before I even started to collect donations, I made sure that I was getting the right people help. I called local nursing homes and Volunteers of America to get my foundation done. I then got my Girl Scout troop involved by asking them to donate toiletries and any other necessary items. I went to the local GS Service Unit Meeting to ask other troops for donations. I also had the local elementary school collect items for their Fun Night. From these and other sources, I was successful in meeting all my project’s objectives.
My bags consisted of the basics: toothbrush, toothpaste, comb/brush, shampoo, soap, and any speciality item collected. I made a variety of bags including large bags that could be used as pillowcases, small "treat" size bags with small items, and decorated shoe boxes.