Friday, January 17, 2014

In Honor of Dr. King

Life’s most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” 
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In January we celebrate an iconic leader in American history, a man who truly lived in service to others and the greater good for our country and its people, even at great personal hardship and sacrifice.  As part of this celebration, people all across the country will engage in service projects – big and small – to honor Dr. King and to continue that spirit of compassion in our world.  Girl Scouts across the country will be involved too, although for us this isn’t just a one-day holiday.  It’s a part of life.

The principles and values illustrated by Dr. King’s quote are embedded throughout every nook and cranny of the Girl Scout experience.  Whether it’s the explicit language in our Girl Scout Promise and Law or the activities that troops undertake to give back in their neighborhoods and towns, Girl Scouting is built upon the foundation of cooperation, mutual respect, service and making a difference. 

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience takes the value of service to others and puts it into active practice in many ways.  Taking action is one of the three pillars of our program at all age levels – and our goal is that through action, our girls will see the world in new ways, engage in their schools, neighborhoods and communities, and learn more about themselves and their capabilities in the process.  Through action, our girls develop the confidence and courage they need to make choices with integrity and pursue all the opportunities that are before them in life.  

Our girls in central and southern New Jersey are living these principles and ideals in many ways and are making a big impact.  Last year, our nearly 100 Gold Award recipients completed projects that made a difference.  From reading programs in inner-city schools, to advocacy projects that educated children and adults on important health issues, to computer and literacy programs in India, our Girl Scouts show  that they believe in a world where helping others matters.  Combine that with all the service that our girl and adult members do day after day and  - - wow!  We are a powerful movement for positive change in our communities, and we make a difference, each and every day.

And so, as we honor Dr. King’s legacy we should take a moment and reflect with pride all the good that we as a Girl Scout Movement are doing through our service work and projects.    Whether it’s a troop activity at a local food bank or support of a national natural disaster or support of a fellow Girl Scout family that is suffering an extreme hardship – it reinforces that foundation of cooperation, mutual respect and through the service shows our girls how they each can make a difference in their world.

I also know that much of what we accomplish in Girl Scouting could never happen without the dedicated service of so many volunteers.  Thank you for your service.  You make a big difference to the towns, communities and families in New Jersey through your leadership and commitment to girls.  I appreciate all that you do in support of the Girl Scout mission!


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