The link is strong between northern Dauphin County, PA, and areas of West Virginia hit hard this summer by severe flooding as shown by the U-Haul trailer of items delivered to White Sulphur Springs mid-July.
“My mom has some work friends there, and my dad has one really good friend that lives there,” says Alivia Moore. “I’ve been there a couple of times. I love it.” Alivia, 7, is among the members of Millersburg, PA, based Girl Scout Troop 13011. The girls collected relief items for victims in Greenbrier County, roughly 300 miles away.
“I saw pictures of it, and there was a lot of mud and brown water coming out of pipes,” said Moore. “And I felt really scared at first, and a I felt a little sad.” Along with Moore’s parents, Kristi and Doug, who both hold degrees from West Virginia University, a number of other parents of scouts and troop leaders have other family and personal connections to the Mountain State.
“I’m a huge Mountaineers fan,” said Nicole Hooper, troop leader. Hooper, wearing a WVU T-shirt during a donation collection event says her local Girl Scout council put her in touch with a leader of another troop in Greenbrier County.
When owners of Millersburg radio station WQLV-FM heard of the efforts by the scouts, they felt compelled to get involved. Prior to operating the radio station in Dauphin County, the Cooper family lived in West Virginia. Braxton Cooper, who performs sales and marketing for WQLV, says the station helped organize a donation collection at the Elizabethville, PA, Walmart. The station also agreed to air a schedule of free on-air public service announcements promoting the event.
“People coming to that Walmart store, were given a list of items that are needed for flood relief. They purchased the item and dropped it off with the Girl Scouts on their way out,” says Cooper. “We were looking for cleaning supplies, Rubbermaid totes to put the cleaning supplies in, clothes and toys,” adds Hooper. “Pretty much anything. We also took monetary donations, which were used to purchase Walmart gift cards.
The items collected were transported to Greenbrier County by Amanda Morris, assistant troop leader, and her daughter and given directly to the leaders of White Sulphur Springs Girl Scout troops 1155 and 7400. The supplies were then distributed to all effected Girl Scout members and their families.
Along with learning a lesson in charity, the Girl Scouts of Troop 13011 will earn a Disaster Relief merit badge. “We wanted to keep them involved in scouting throughout the summer when everybody is on vacation,” said Hooper. “We thought this would be a great lesson for them in giving back.”