Long Range Property Planning Introduction

10/12/2012
Menisa Marshall

What happens to the usable, unopened packages of nonperishable food young people at schools often leave uneaten? Couldn’t this food serve some more useful purpose? Couldn’t young people be shown a creative way to use this food to help others?

These are some of the questions that occurred to Girl Scout Gold Award applicant, Olivia Lund, as she gave careful thought to the community project she wanted to do to earn Girl Scouting’s highest honor. What she came up with is a unique take on a traditional food drive.  

Complete with a catchy name and logo, Olivia’s reFooding initiative focuses on raising awareness among young people about homelessness and poverty. It also gives them a way to take action to fight hunger.

“I wanted to do something that could be ongoing at my school and give students a way to make a difference in a way that reflects our faith in action,” says Olivia who is a senior at Christian Academy of Louisville.

reFooding started in mid-August at the school cafeteria, where unopened, prepackaged snack foods are collected on a daily basis to be donated to Wayside Christian Mission.  A special donation day—“Wayside Wednesdays” —is the first Wednesday of every month. This provides a set day for students to purchase food specifically for donation. 

Olivia recently hosted a ceremony at the school to celebrate the first Wayside Christian Mission pickup of reFooding items collected. Guests included Superintendent Tim Greener and reFooding project sponsor, Scott Eberle of Eberle Orthodontics.  Olivia's parents and brother also join in the celebration.

”We are excited about Olivia’s vision for this project as she has heard about and seen a need at Wayside Christian Mission, and is now seeking to fulfill that need,” said Superintendent Greener. “She’s done a wonderful job with this project, and we are pleased to support her in this endeavor.”

As most of those who have ever been part of Girl Scouting know, earning a Gold Award is no easy feat. Candidates must be in high school and complete two senior-level Journeys, or can complete one Journey if they have already earned a Silver Award. Journeys are Girl Scout leadership development programs that follow set standards. They cover three key areas: It’s Your Wworld-Change It!, It’s Your Planet-Love It!, and It’s Your Story-Tell It!  

Earning the Gold is a seven-step process that requires candidates to work with a mentor to do more than 130 hours of research and hands-on work. Projects are reviewed and approved by a blue ribbon panel of current Girl Scout leaders and alumnae, and past Gold Award recipients. Award projects must meet a community need and have a lasting impact. They need to reflect a girl’s vision, passion and leadership.

Earning a Gold Award can help girls qualify for college scholarships. For those who enter the military, the award brings an automatic rank upgrade. Less than 6 percent of all Girl Scouts ever earn a gold award. The Kentuckiana Council produces about 20 Gold Award recipients a year.

At Olivia’s kick-off celebration Girl Scouts CEO Lora Tucker said it is rewarding to see girls work for and earn a Gold Award. “It is truly a joy to see our girls take the leadership skills we’re helping them grow and put them into action,” Tucker said.

Mayor Greg Fischer issued a reFooding proclamation to recognize Olivia’s efforts. Nina Moseley, from Wayside Christian Mission, also praised and thanked Olivia for “showing what a determined teenager can accomplish.” Wayside noted on their website after the first food pick-up:  Good job, Olivia! You are amazing!

For many girls, earning the Gold Award lays a foundation for a lifetime of leadership and community involvement. So, don’t surprised one day when you open up a newspaper, or turn on your television and hear about a terrific young woman named Olivia Lund who’s figured out a creative way to bring people and resources together for a great cause.

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