Good deeds do not go unnoticed.
Girl Scout Troop 2672 was honored by Congressmember Nydia Velázquez for their Puerto Rico relief efforts after they raised $2,000 during a “bowlathon” they organized in Sunset Park in February. The fundraiser was part of the troop’s larger effort to receive Bronze Awards, the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can reach.
“It was probably one of the best meetings our Girl Scouts have had,” Troop Leader Jeannie Jackson said.
The scouts’ project to provide aid to Puerto Rico has been ongoing, and the troop launched a supply drive and a letter writing campaign as its second phase. The supply drive gathered 150 pounds of school supplies for children at Luis Muñoz Rivera Elementary School in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. A troop co-leader was able to fly down and deliver the supplies to the school herself in late April after JetBlue charitably waived most of her baggage fees.
“Puerto Rico is part of the United States. Puerto Ricans are American citizens. And so in this country, the United States of America, one of our values is to take care of our neighbors,” Velázquez said to the girls during their troop meeting, stressing that the United States has a responsibility to help Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria left the island devastated in September.
“When I read about what you were doing, I was very touched,” she said. Velázquez was the first Puerto Rican woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and lived there during her early life.
She appreciated the lengths the troop had took and the time they had spent to give to Puerto Rico, and gave a speech on the floor of Congress to honor their work, as well as gave the girls certificates.
Jackson said the letter writing campaign’s original purpose was to just urge pols to provide aid to Puerto Rico, but after speaking with Velázquez, the troop will now support the congressmember’s efforts to address FEMA aid in Puerto Rico. Currently, many Puerto Ricans cannot receive FEMA aid to help fix their homes, as in some areas buying a home is quite casual and many do not have official deeds to their homes. Velázquez’s hopes to create legislation around this, something the troop is rallying behind.
As for what’s next for the troop, in June the girls will move up to the next Girl Scout rank, Cadet, and continue giving back.