A truck filled with goods for Haitians recovering from the January earthquake is headed to the Caribbean nation, thanks to 10 East Meadow Girl Scouts.
With assistance from the Nassau County Police Department, the troop sent off the donations to Haiti on April 1 in a special ceremony outside the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola. The project was the troop's centerpiece for earning the coveted Silver Award from Girl Scouts of America.
East Meadow Cadet Troop No. 1108, based in Salisbury, is guided by leaders Christine Coriaty and Deborah Rollo. The scouts, mostly 13 and 14 years old, attend W.T. Clarke Middle School.
"We were deciding on a final project for the Silver Award," Coriaty said. "Then the earthquake happened. They were immediately like, 'Let's help.'"
The girls stationed collection bins at elementary schools, passed out fliers and reached out to family members and friends to get items. The items included diapers, non-perishable food, water, clothing and toiletries.
"The best part I think was packing it and seeing what we collected," said Girl Scout Ashley Pfeffer. "We wanted to help make the people of Haiti happy and comfortable after the tragedy."
The Silver Award is one step away from the highest Girl Scout honor — the Gold Award. Individuals can pursue the Gold Award as senior Girl Scouts up to the age of 18. Nassau County Girl Scouts will present the Silver Award to the Troop No. 1108 cadets at a May ceremony.
Strict rules for the award prohibit the cadets from spending any money on their project. That is why Coriaty's living room temporarily transformed into self-storage unit for the collected items. It is also how the Nassau County Police Department became involved.
Angel Rios, assistant to Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey, coordinated with the county to arrange delivery of the items to Haiti. Some of his staff members also donated and collected items for the delivery.
At the April 1st ceremony, County Executive Edward Mangano lauded the girls and the troop leaders for their efforts.