Woodstock Girl Scout goes to work for charity
Woodstock resident Skye McEstes and her Girl Scout troop collected hundreds of items for various nonprofit and charity organizations as part of a Scouting project organized by McEstes.
The money and supplies were raised for the Woodstock Food Pantry, McHenry County Public Action to Deliver Shelter, Helping Paws and the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund. The fund provides financial assistance to potential scouts who can’t afford some of the scouting trips or camps.
“I needed to do a project to earn my Silver Award,” McEstes said, indicating that a similar project has taken place in the past as part of a four-day camp at the Mary Ann Beebe Center near Harvard.
Compared to previous money and supply drives, the collection organized by McEstes garnered tremendous support.
“I thought we’d maybe get half of what we did,” said McEstes, who will be a freshman at Woodstock High School in the fall.
To keep things interesting, McEstes had a daily drive as part of the overall collection drive. For example, the first day she asked Scouts to bring in loose coins. The following day she requested canned and boxed goods. On Wednesday, supplies for PADS were requested. The final day focused on Helping Paws collections.
In total, 335 food items were donated to the food pantry, 403 items were sent to PADS and 151 items were delivered to Helping Paws. The Juliette Low World Friendship Fund received $200.
McEstes said the drive supports PADS and the food pantry each year, and said the final nonprofit organization is chosen on a year-to-year basis. For example, the Scouts collected supplies for Turning Point of McHenry County last year.
“We love animals; we’re animal people,” said McEstes’ mother, Kelly Hoffman.
McEstes has worked with Helping Paws in the past. She has donated handmade blankets to the organization and hopes to volunteer in a more hands-on way when she is old enough to do so.
McEstes said donating to the food pantry was rewarding based on the timing alone. She also encouraged people to donate food directly to the pantry.
“People don’t think as much about donating during the summer [as they do around the holidays],” McEstes said. “People can grab a few items as they go shopping. They can just stop by the Woodstock Food Pantry, not just because somebody is doing a service project.”
After the four-day camp concluded, McEstes said all the leftover and unopened supplies used during the camp also were donated to the respective organizations.
“It’s just been overwhelming,” Hoffman said of the Girl Scouts dedication. “It brings tears to your eyes.”