National Day of Service is held each year in September, a day for acts of kindness and service to people in need in the spirit of 9-11. The American Heritage Girls (AHG) scouting organization commemorate their birthday around the same time and use it as an opportunity to give to others. Each year AHG develops a theme and encourages all of the troops around the country and world to pick an act of service to match the theme.

Serving Persons with Disabilities

This year Patti Garibay, AHG Executive Director, announced the theme “Shine” and serving persons impacted by disabilities.  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father,” Mt 5:14-16. This mobilized troops all over the country to find ways to serve in their local communities.

AHG Troop 1871 at Old St. Pat’s in Ann Arbor decided to do their act of kindness for St. Louis Center. Amy Parrish is the Troop Coordinator and a former staff member at the Center. She helped guide the Troop of 50 girls to make ‘care packages’ for St. Louis Center staff members.

American Heritage Girls troop 1871

Creating Care Packages

The girls and their families had a great time shopping for “Shine” themed yellow items: bags of chips, packages of cookies, packs of gum, yellow post-it notes and more. They also printed and created notes of encouragement to include in the gift bags. “You are my sunshine,” “You are the bee’s knees,” were some of the messages that were included.

Scouts at workAt the first Troop meeting of this program year 32 scouts were on hand to help pack the care packages. The girls were all smiles as they worked diligently to pack the 100 care packages.

Mrs. Parrish dropped off the gifts at St. Louis Center in time for staff members to receive them as they arrived at work for the day.

According to Angela Eldersveld, Troop Vice-Coordinator, St. Louis Center is one of their favorite places to support. When the national theme for this year was announced, they all knew right away that they were going to focus their efforts on the Center.

Photos used with permission of Nicole Cullers.

Staff members at St. Louis Center were pleased and surprised that the gifts were brought for them. Each person was delighted to find snacks and small gifts that could help them through a day at work in the service of persons with disabilities.

This article appears in the Fall 2022 issue of St. Louis Spirit newsletter.

You can read it online or download the issue in its entirety here.

If you or your scout group would like to volunteer or host an event at St. Louis Center, fill out the form below.