NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Clean T-shirts, body wash, and bandages are all items we use every day. But imagine not having access to such necessities?
That’s why Abigail M., a 17-year-old Girl Scout and senior at Bridgewater-Raritan High School, decided to dedicate her Gold Award project to helping homeless families in New Brunswick.
The Gold Award is the pinnacle of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and the most prestigious award a Girl Scout can earn. It recognizes girls who demonstrate extraordinary effort in developing solutions for problems facing our world.
For her project, Abigail organized an event at Johnson & Johnson’s headquarters in New Brunswick where volunteers donated and created more than 200 T-shirt toiletry kits for Elijah’s Promise, a New Brunswick-based non-profit that aims to break the cycle of poverty through its community kitchen and various programs.
Each kit included a new t-shirt, shampoo, hand soap, body wash, lotion, bandages, cotton swabs, cleansing wipes, sunscreen, and dental floss. The supplies would help a person for about four days; a brand-new t-shirt could help for months to come.
“Providing Elijah’s Promise with a couple hundred kits makes it easier for them to distribute toiletries to the homeless in New Brunswick, something they cannot regularly do,” said Abigail. “There are many people who depend on these items.”
Abigail has been part of Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey’s (GSHNJ) Troop 60794 for 12 years.
She is one of the 79 girls who earned their Gold Award this past year.
“Being a Girl Scout provides me with the opportunity to help and educate people, learn new things about the world, step out of my comfort zone, and I get to have fun while I do it,” Abigail said.
“It is wonderful to see that Abigail used this platform to make a real, direct impact on the lives of less fortunate individuals in New Brunswick. This is what this project is all about – making a difference,” said GSHNJ CEO Natasha Hemmings.
Johnson & Johnson will now be hosting annual events to collect and assemble t-shirt toiletry kits.
To receive a Gold Award, projects must be sustainable. Thanks to the pharmaceutical giant, Abigail’s work is now an ongoing project.