Ideas percolate in community. Many months ago some Adventers became aware of the nearby Fisher House (at #1 Jefferson Barracks). Since opening on July 28, 2010, the St. Louis VA Medical Center Fisher House has to served over five hundred families of Veterans and active duty military personnel. Their 20 guest suites provide a “home away from home” for families of Veterans receiving care at the St. Louis VA Medical Center and families of active duty personnel who have loved ones in other area facilities.
And they need all kinds of volunteer help and donated items.
Fast forward to a few months ago when Adventer Jocelyn Sanders began to imagine a project for the Girl Scout Gold Award. This award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. It’s open only to girls in high school, and it challenges you to “change the world—or at least your corner of it.” No small task!
Jocelyn’s Gold Award Project is about raising awareness about volunteer opportunities at Fisher House and creating an event planner for the use of volunteers in organizing and executing a Holiday observance. Sometimes, the Holiday is a well-known and sometimes a lesser-known event.
Jocelyn, together with her Project Advisor Kim White, worked to form the project and make a visit to the Fisher House site. They agreed upon the Advent groups to contact about participating and Jocelyn met with each of the groups. She educated members of the groups about Fisher House and about opportunities to volunteer or to make donations. Jocelyn has organized the logistics for quarterly drives that the Daughters of the King will help collect for. She’s been in touch with the Men’s group for some meal cooking, and the Advent Church Women for some donated cookies. Jocelyn and friends have been out to Fisher House organizing pantries and linen closets, and getting a feel for what the organization needs and how our community might help.
About the planner aspect, Jocelyn has worked on research and design of the planner, searching for info on many possible holidays to celebrate. She constructed a packet for each holiday so that volunteers can easily pick and choose what they want to use. Included are suggestions for food, activities, decorations, coloring pages and a word puzzle. The planner contains resources for a total of 50 holidays.
You can read more about Fisher House at http://www.fisher- houseinstl.org.