Gold Award Highlight: Taylor Dembowski
1. What is the name and purpose of your Gold Award project?
My Gold Award project is called Operation Free Hot Meal which entailed providing a Free Community Dinner once a month for the first quarter of 2017 targeting community seniors and low-income families who visit our local food banks. I wanted to bring awareness of the hunger issue in my community to the young people in Florence and enlisted their aid to serve over 150 people in the community.
2. What sustainable impact does your Gold Award project have on the community?
Along with my team, I was able to successfully provide a free nutritious meal to over 150 people in my community during the cold winter months. Part of my team consisted of National Honor Society (NHS) students and Town & Country Girl Scouts who were the target audience for sustainability of the project. NHS students were instrumental in setup and the running of the dinner. They are in receipt of my project to use as a guideline for future dinners. Town & Country Girls Scouts were kept abreast of my project and donated “Recipes Under $5” for the recipe booklet I created and distributed to my guests. I’ve since received a request for information about my project from a Girl Scout in Town & Country. When all was complete, I received $600 in monetary donations and 170 items for the food pantries. Three food banks were each given a $200 and 170 nonperishable goods.
3. What insights/takeaway did you gain from your project?
The most important insight I’ve taken away from this project is a feeling of accomplishment, that as a Girl Scout, I was able to make this happen… but only because of the team I created - all of the wonderful people, businesses, the church and the local municipality who helped me through their support through monetary donations or goods/services. I’ve had several people who have relayed what that one dinner meant to them. One woman came up to me and said that this was her and her son's first hot meal in a while and it meant the world to her that I was able to put this together. Another mom said that her son hadn’t been eating well, but ate the whole plate from the Free Ham Dinner. These stories are why this issue meant so much to me. I really didn't think that one girl could help people that much in a short amount of time.