UNION, NJ - With their 7th Annual "We Care, We Share" community service project, Girl Scout Troop 40724 started the holiday season off by giving back to a Union family in need. Each year “We Care, We Share” reaches out to the Township of Union Public Schools to identify students and families in need of a healthy Thanksgiving meal. The food bank is just one way troop leaders Bayyinah Marbury, Jeminat Boxton, and Rosemary Kearney try to encourage a philanthropic ideation in the young future leaders.

“Each year we are so grateful for the opportunity to give back to someone in our local community,” said Bayyinah Marbury. The troop has been together since many of the students were in kindergarten and first grade. The girls are now in fourth through ninth grade. “It’s been a blessing watching these young ladies grow up over the last nine years,” added Marbury.

The project began four years ago as a donation effort seeking canned goods to include in the Thanksgiving baskets. Troop 40724, which includes members Basirah Amodu, Jumai Boxton, Suliah Boxton, Valerie Hill, Angelina Kearney, Alyssa Lewars, Lailah Marbury, Saadiah Marbury, Onyeka Moneme, Brielle Pierre-Philippe, and Leah Surpris, wanted to take it a step further. The girls wanted to provide the healthiest options possible for families receiving the donation. Canned goods were replaced by fresh cranberries, butter, turkey, and cake mix for baking.

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Each year, members of Troop 40724 bring a different fresh item to be included in the basket. “We make an effort to reach out to someone with children and include an extra something special in the basket to enjoy later,” said Marbury. This year’s something special is a gift card to Dairy Queen for each child in the family.

Recipients in previous years have been from Battle Hill and Jefferson Schools.