I am always amazed by the energy and passion of the young people in our community. I see firsthand the amazing things they are doing, not just for themselves but for others as well. As the CEO of a youth-serving organization, I love to see youth taking action to make a difference in the world.

Community service is a cornerstone of Girl Scouts, the organization I serve, and we encourage our youth to be the change they want to see in the world.

Fair Lawn Girl Scout Troops 96841, 97655 and 97888 recently partnered with the Center for Food Action to pack weekend lunch kits for food insecure children in Bergen County.

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Hopatcong Girl Scout Cadette Troop 96094 adopted a half mile portion of a Lake Hopatcong trail in order to promote hiking safety and to get the local community outdoors. The girls also held hikes in the fall and spring. During one event, the girls painted rocks to leave on the trail for “Kindness for Christopher.” Kindness for Christopher is a movement that encourages the public to do random acts of kindness in memory of a 10-year-old boy who was killed in a boating accident.  

Girl Scouts in Pequannock held a day of service and worked on projects that benefitted several community organizations. Girls who attended made toys for the Pequannock Animal shelter; made mats out of plastic bags for the Suburban Women’s Club for distribution to the homeless; created blankets for children being served by Court Appointed Special Advocates; and colored sheets for Color A Smile, which will distribute the pictures to seniors, troops overseas and anyone in need of a smile.  

In Rockaway, Girl Scout Troops 98036 and 81044 collected more than 50 handbags filled with toiletries that will be distributed to homeless persons in Newark.

Pompton Lakes Girl Scouts Anne Keane and Mikeyla Taskaya collected dried out markers and highlighters through the Color Cycle program by Crayola. Crayola recycled the markers and highlighters into energy, asphalt and roof shingles and kept them out of landfills. To date, the girls have collected 145 pounds of used markers and highlighters. 

These are only a handful of stories that show the difference a few individuals or groups can make. Many people are concerned for the future. I believe the future is bright with individuals of all ages who want to make the world a better place.