SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - South Brunswick Girl Scouts will be hosting an event to collect presents for children who are hospitalized on their birthdays at the East Brunswick Service Center on Church Lane on September 15th. Guests will be asked to bring donations such as toys, games and clothes for birthday bags that will be delivered to children at Robert Wood Johnson, St. Peter's, Princeton and others.

Tawanna Sampson is the leader for two Girl Scout troops in South Brunswick, and she oversees and advises the girls in the troops. The upcoming event, known as “Project Birthday Bag,” will be done by girls in Troop 81030 (Grades 4-12) in order to obtain their bronze award, a prestigious honor for any girl scout that puts in twenty hours of community service. Sampson said that this is an initiative that she is passionate about and is important to her.

“If a child is in the hospital they’re already going to be depressed, and on top of that no one wants to be in the hospital on their birthday” Sampson said “We want to be able to bring a smile on their face and that’s why we are doing project Birthday Bag.”

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This is the first time that the South Brunswick Girl Scouts will be doing this project, the decision to pursue this cause was decided by the girls in the troop themselves, wanting to help children of their own age in need.

According to Sampson, each girl in the troop is responsible for producing at least ten bags for the cause, resulting in over 120 birthday bags for hospitalized children. Sampson says she is hoping to get at least fifty additional people to attend the events and donate. Girls Scouts have been able to collect donations over the summer and have been advertising the event in the community.

According to Sampson, this is the first time that the Girl Scouts in South Brunswick are working on receiving all three different awards being Bronze, Silver and Gold. One girl in the troop is currently working on getting her Silver Award by teaching people how to work with fabrics.

Another girl in the troop, Mrs. Sampson’s daughter, is working on receiving her Gold Award by hosting a mental health awareness program for girls called “A flaw in chemistry, not in character.” The event will be sponsored by Rutgers University later this year.

“I really want all of the girls in the troop to be recognized for their hard work” Sampson said, “The girls will learn and appreciate to give back and to make a difference in their community. It preserves the state of New Jersey because as girl scouts we’re caring people and want to do something important.”