Over the last two weeks, Girl Scout friends and families have come together in an amazing, inspiring way to support the communities of Oso and Darrington.
The North Regional Office put out a call for donations last week, and the Girl Scout community has responded with incredible generosity. The outpouring of donations quickly became larger than could be handled by one organization alone.
In collaboration with other community organizations, our North Regional Office has helped open the Community Collection Center—a warehouse site for collecting, sorting and distributing contributions in a donated space at the Arlington Business Park.
This center is being operated by a team of volunteers from Girl Scouts and the local community, with Girl Scout volunteer Shirley Clark as the site coordinator. Tasha Branch, one of our Regional Program Managers, is leading the community coordination.
A few specifics on the Girl Scout relief efforts:
- Last Friday a trailer of approximately 1,500 lbs. of Girl Scout food donations were delivered to the Darrington community, where local high school students were eager and appreciative to receive them into their community food bank.
- Girl Scout troops and service units from across the council have delivered donations, including Lacey, Sammamish, Snohomish, Bellingham, Mt Vernon, Mill Creek, South Everett and Edmonds.
- Word has spread, and donations to the Community Collection Center are coming from everywhere: corporate donations including four pallets of coffee from Starbucks, pallets of animal feed from Purina, 64 boxes of new shoes, shovels from Ace Hardware and more.
- Multiple troops and Girl Scout volunteers have signed-up to work at the Community Collection Center and have played a significant role in the efficiency of processing the overwhelming and heartwarming number of donations.
Many, many people in western Washington have reached out to us to find out how they can help further. While additional donations of food and clothing are not needed at this time, there are still other ways to help.
Ways to Help [updated]
- Give: In honor of the victims of the Oso Landslide, members of the Girl Scouts of Western Washington have created the Oso Memorial Opportunity Fund. This fund supports current and future girl members from the rural communities of Oso, Darrington and Arlington to participate in Girl Scout activities.
- Volunteer: Girl Scouts of Western Washington has opened and is helping to staff the Community Collection Center, where donations of food and clothing are being processed and distributed. Volunteer shifts are available for Girl Scouts! Contact Tasha Branch for more information.
- Donate: While Girl Scouts can’t fundraise for another organization or cause, troops can donate money in their troop bank account that they have already earned. Opportunities to give directly to affected families and support the community can be found on the Snohomish County website.
- Money Earning Projects: Even though Girl Scouts can’t fundraise for an organization or cause, they can take on money earning projects and donate the profits. For more information about money earning projects, contact your troop program manager. (To find your troop program manager, visit the Girl Scouts of Western Washington Contact page and click on the Regional Office that serves your county.
- Save to Help Later: While the outpouring of food and clothing donations has ensured that the affected families and volunteers have what they need right now, the community is on a long road to recovery. We hope that members of the Girl Scout community will keep them in their hearts and minds months and years in the future.
The Oso and Darrington communities are still dealing with their immediate and devastating loss. As an organization we are being very sensitive and respectful to the specific and changing needs of both impacted communities. Girl Scouts of Western Washington has been in contact with the schools in Darrington where Girl Scout programs are scheduled, and have let them know that we are available to resume programs when they are ready.
Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by this terrible tragedy, including members of the Girl Scout community, some of whom have been directly affected.