Scouts collect for Silver AwardBeginning Saturday, residents will see in some River Falls businesses the bins made and placed by Girl Scout Troop 51109 to collect books for the River Falls-based nonprofit Turningpoint for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence.
By: Debbie Griffin, River Falls Journal
Beginning Saturday, residents will see in some River Falls businesses the bins made and placed by Girl Scout Troop 51109 to collect books for the River Falls-based nonprofit Turningpoint for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence.
The four 8th graders ask the community to check their shelves, boxes and closets for books they could donate Oct. 20 through Nov. 10.
Those with books to spare will find a collection bin at five businesses:
- Associated Bank, 704 N. Main St.
- Dick’s Fresh Market, 1121 S. Main St.
- H&F Furnishings, 155 Hwy. 35
- Helmer Dance Studio, 2701 Enloe Rd., Hudson
- St. Bridget Catholic Church, 211 E. Division St.
The Scouts, Brandi Bennett, Elizabeth Gunderson, Caileen Hughes and Talle Klewicki, must each invest at least 50 hours into the project.
Hughes and Bennett said last week they’re each probably have 15 hours into it so far.
The work began with developing an idea, then presenting it to the Girl Scout Council for approval.
Asked how they thought of the book drive, Bennett said her grandmother’s church donates books in the Philippines, which sparked the idea.
The young Scouts say all four of them working toward the prestigious Silver Award also “really like books.”
Hughes’ mom had met Turningpoint’s Director Kim Wojcik while working with UW-River Falls placing interns.
“We came up with a proposal letter to her,” said Hughes about asking Wojcik.
The girls listed several ways they could collect the books and asked the director for feedback on which way was best.
Their goal will be to establish a library of books at Turningpoint, as well as tote bags full of them for people to take with them.
The girls say they considered building a bookshelf if needed, but college students built one already, and they don’t know yet if another is needed.
Bennett and Hughes said any books that won’t fit at Turningpoint will be placed in the organization’s fundraising store in downtown River Falls, Second Chances.
The girls acknowledge that people like to know where the benefits are going and appreciate when it’s something local, such as Turningpoint.
Bennett said about the book drive, “We wanted to call it, ‘Put a Book in Every Home,’” adding that they also wanted the collection bins to match the theme and look like a house -- with a roof and windows.
Other work for the Scouts included sending out letters to several businesses asking if they’d allow the bins to be placed in their space. The girls say they received more responses than they needed so had to narrow down their list to five.
They knew it would be important to manage the bins well and check them often. The Scouts will each be checking the bin closest to their home at least once a week during the book drive.
Bennett and Hughes said the books should be new or gently used and can be for children of any age, as well as for the adult women who typically take shelter at Turningpoint.
Each girl tracks their work in a binder and will demonstrate progress to the Scout Council. Bennett shows her log that details dates, activities and how long each task took.
So far they’ve promoted the “Put a Book in Every Home” drive, at Turningpoint’s annual Walk to Empower, and through advertising and informational fliers.
The local girls aspire to earn their Silver Award upon completion of the project.
Troop leader Kathy Bennett says the award is the highest honor a Cadette -- a Girl Scout in 6th, 7th or 8th grade -- can earn. The only higher award in Scouting is the Gold Award, which requires 80 hours of work from high-school aged girls.
People who have books but are unable to drop them off at a collection bin can contact troop leader Kathy Bennett at 715-425-7214 or email@example.com.