POTTSTOWN PA – Uniform and clothing items collected during the summer by Pottstown Girl Scout Troop 71868, which were distributed by the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities, are being worn by several students today (Tuesday, Sept. 3) as they officially return to classes in the Pottstown School District.
And the troop’s Silver Award Project to collect dozens of pieces of clothing for use by district children in need is continuing, troop Leader Shelly Stockmal said. Her scouts hope to gather up even more items through next weekend (Sept. 7-8) at public drop-off points in the Pottstown YMCA, 724 N. Adams St.; the North End Swim Club, 901 Adams St.; and the district Administration building, 230 Beech St. Donations are welcomed.
The project got its start last spring, when cluster Volunteer Coordinator Victoria Bumstead mentioned the charitable organization was struggling to obtain uniforms for the coming school year. The scouts understood the need and decided they “could make a real difference,” Stockmal said.
They collected used uniforms by placing donation boxes in businesses in the Pottstown community, as well as at the Pottstown Car Show and Sidewalk Sale. Participating drop-off points included the swim club, YMCA, Pottstown Public Regional Library, Grumpy’s Sandwich Shop, and Rich Ranieri Paints and Carpet.
Donations were collected weekly, and scouts learned that local businesses “really care about the communities they serve,” Stockmal noted.
“With a little mentoring, it is amazing what our youth can accomplish,” she added. The scouts “were always so excited to find clothes in the donation boxes each week. I think they were amazed that people paid attention and helped them with their effort. They would even text me pictures while I was at work of their collections. It was immediate gratification that they were making a positive difference.”
“It also taught them the power of teamwork and how many hands can lighten a load,” Stockmal said.
It reinforced Girl Scouting’s emphasis on resourcefulness, too. “We can understand where it can be a hardship on a family to provide uniforms for growing children,” she said. “This is more than just being able to help people save money; it is about continuing to use items that might normally be discarded. It just makes good common sense.”
The troop publicly thanked the cluster, the district, Girl Scouting, its local business partners, and its many donors for their assistance.
Photos from the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities