Girl Scouts never hesitate to help people in need. When they see injustices or people suffering, they’re ready and willing to take action—whether that’s in their own neighborhoods or halfway around the world.
When the Ukrainian invasion occurred in February 2022, it’s no surprise that Girl Scouts across the country sprang into action. From donation drives to creating first-aid kits, Girl Scouts show how compassion, problem-solving skills, and teamwork can touch the lives of people they've never met.
For Sophia, an eight-year-old Brownie from Troop 20340 in Bloomfield, New Jersey, the war in Ukraine feels personal.
“I’m half Ukrainian and have family in Ukraine,” Sophia explained. “I just wanted to help Ukrainians and give them what they need.”
After Sophia asked her parents if she could help, she began collecting supplies at her school. With the help of her troop, a local church, and the community at large, she gathered 50 bags of supplies to be sent to Ukraine. Those necessary supplies included clothing, food, toiletries, blankets, baby food, diapers, dog food, and first-aid items.
Sophia was surprised to see the response from the community thanks to her efforts. “I can’t believe we got so many people to donate!”
Sophia’s mom, Theda, said, “[The] Girl Scout Promise is to help people at all times. Sophia understands what is happening in Ukraine and has heritage there. She really wanted to do something to help the people of Ukraine that lost their homes and belongings.”
Sophia’s mom hopes her troop has learned that while one person can make a big difference, a community coming together can make a huge difference.
When Olivia, a 12-year-old Girl Scout Cadette from Troop 41126 in West Chester, Pennsylvania saw what was happening to families in Ukraine, she knew she had to do something.
“Seeing the children and mothers suffering so much and fleeing their homes with only what they could fit in a backpack made me so sad,” she said. “I wanted to help them.”
Olivia and her mother saw a flyer from the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee (UUARC) requesting donations for refugee children, so they reached out to see how they could help.
Olivia reached out to friends, family, and her community to collect donations for Ukrainian refugees.
“The response was overwhelming,” Olivia said. “People donated so much. We filled my mom’s SUV with so many packs of diapers, wipes, toys, formula, and about 500 brand new Matchbox cars. We also got two huge boxes of brand-new stuffed animals, coloring books, crayons, puzzles, and many more items to be flown to Poland and given to those in need."
Olivia was thrilled with how her community came together. She also learned that many people are willing to help—they just don’t know where to start.
Olivia’s mom, Sarah, felt so much pride watching her daughter realize she could make a difference. “The highlight for me was watching her be so invested in helping others,” Sarah recalls. “Even though [the people of Ukraine] are a world away, she still felt such a strong desire to help them. I felt like she really had taken the lessons [she learned from] Girl Scouts and found a way to apply them in her life.”
Olivia hopes that her project inspires people to help one another. “Anything, no matter how small, can help someone,” she said. “Even though I am young, I can still make a difference and work in the future to be of service to people in need.”
Girl Scout Juniors from Troop 70706 in Westlake, Ohio partnered with Plast scouts (Ukrainian scouts) to collect medical supplies and pack first-aid kits to be distributed in heavily hit areas of Ukraine. The weeklong donation drive resulted in enough supplies to create 161 full kits, plus additional supplies to be used in the Plast scouts’ ongoing efforts to pack and send 10,000 first-aid kits to Ukraine.
The Girl Scouts and Plast scouts spent the day together packing individual first-aid kits. They also exchanged small gifts like friendship bracelets and cookies.
Troop leader Jennifer said that there were three generations of Girl Scouts participating in the project, including parents and grandparents.
Working together as a team was a highlight of the project for Angelina, an 11-year-old Girl Scout. “You can change anything with some help from friends,” she said.
The Girl Scouts felt very proud and accomplished for earning the Girl Scout Bronze Award for their project, but Girl Scout Ellie said, “It felt better because of how many people we helped.”
Learn how this brave, creative group learns and plays by their own rules—underwater.