Homelessness is incredibly devastating, especially for children. And sadly, rates of homelessness have increased lately, with a recent report showing that about 1 in 30 children is homeless.
Along with the danger and deprivation that can accompany not having a home, we tend to forget that homelessness also means that children do not have access to quintessential childhood experiences, like playing, or being part of Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop.
Luckily, an amazing woman named Giselle Burgess just created the first Girl Scout troop for homeless girls in New York City. Troop 6000 is made up of 21 girls who are homeless, all of whom currently reside in a shelter in Queens. Burgess, who was once homeless herself, decided to form the troop in order to help bring opportunities, fun and community spirit to the lives of these young girls.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer has supported Burgess in this worthy endeavor, and he had this to say to the New York Times about Troop 6000: "It's just about the most right thing I've ever been a part of."
Thanks to Burgess and her hard work, these young girls have been able to participate in many wonderful activities. Here they are proudly taking the Girl Scout Pledge:
If you want to help support this worthy cause, you can go to the Girl Scouts website and donate. You can ensure that your donation goes to Troop 6000 by selecting "Girl Scouts in NYC Shelters."
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Get involved this Monday with Troop 6000. Troop 6000 is the first Girl Scout troop in New York City designated solely for homeless girls. Reaching young girls at such a crucial age can help teach them leadership skills, business-oriented thinking, and allow them to understand what it means to be a part of something greater than just themselves. They're accepting donations ? you can provide a $25 membership fee; a $75 starter kit of patches, pins, workbooks and vests; and the $20 monthly dues. Click the #linkinbio to learn more and donate.
The Troop 6000 Girl Scouts have many big dreams, including becoming doctors, fashion designers and athletes. Some even say that their goal is to help homeless people when they grow up. You can really see how meaningful the Girl Scouts organization is in these young girls' lives.
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Last week, @samuelhodgson photographed a group of scouts from Troop 6000 riding the subway during a field trip. Troop 6000 is the first New York City troop designated solely for homeless girls. For these children, meetings and outings are something to look forward to in an environment where shelter curfews and other restrictions make it hard to foster friendships. Troops for homeless girls are rare, but Troop 6000 is not the first. In the past 30 years, other @GirlScouts troops have formed in shelters in Georgia, Florida and California. And at one point during the 1990s, troops were created to reach girls in migrant worker camps and public housing. The woman behind Troop 6000 is Giselle Burgess, who works as a community engagement specialist for Girl Scouts of Greater New York. Giselle, a single mother of 5, is also homeless. She lives with her kids at a Sleep Inn in Queens, a hotel NYC has taken over to accommodate about 100 homeless families â and now, 21 #GirlScouts. Visit the link in our profile to read the full story, and follow @samuelhodgson to see more photos.
It's awesome to see that people like Giselle Burgess have ensured that these deserving girls can be a part of the Girl Scout family.
[h/t: Hello Giggles]