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“April showers bring May flowers” and it will bring Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri’s (GSEM) April Showers, a community-wide personal care item drive for families in need. April Showers provides an opportunity for girls in grades K-12 to learn to lead, take responsibility, make good decisions and help those in need.
Last year, GSEM added an exciting new dimension to April Showers. In response to an effort to collect more personal care items than ever before and to honor the organization’s centennial, citizens donated 1,415,702 items and the Council set a 2012 Guinness World Record.
“Personal care items are not a luxury, they are a necessity,” said Donna K. Martin, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. “Having good hygiene and maintaining good health are important for a positive self-image and a sense of well-being.”
GSEM troops will host “Showering the Community” events at nearly every Walmart in the eastern Missouri region on Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Girl Scouts will stand in front of the stores, wearing raincoats and galoshes or holding umbrellas. They will hand raindrop-shaped lists of needed items to customers as they enter encouraging them to purchase some of the items listed as they complete their shopping. Participating customers will place the items in special carts at the exits.
Girl Scouts will also distribute gray, recycled bags “Gray is the new Green” door-to-door throughout the Council’s jurisdiction on April 12, 13 and 14. Residents have until April 20 to fill their bags with the listed items. Residents who do not receive a bag on their doors can attend a Showering the Community Event or purchase pre-packaged bags from Schnuck’s stores during the week of the event. Those who are unable to participate, who forget to donate during the week of the event or if troops forget to collect bags may drop off items at any Dierberg’s market from April 20 to May 6 or at any Schnuck’s market until April 24. People may also call 1.800.727.4475, ext. 4601 to arrange pickups.
Continue to help GSEM this year by filling your April Showers bags with items like toothpaste, soap and shampoo. These items cannot be purchased with SNAP benefits (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) but are equally important for families in need. Missouri food banks continue to report a 30 percent increase in demand.
GSEM set this world record with the help of 30 Walmart stores. Thanks to generous donations throughout the community, most of the items we collected last year customers provided. Items collected were donated to local pantries, shelters and GSEM partner, Operation Food Search, for distribution to individuals and families in need.
Other 2012 April Showers Program statistics:
• number of girls who participated – 17,914
• number of adult volunteers who participated – 14,000
• number of hours donated to the program – 86,230
Launched in 1998, April Showers continues to be a cornerstone for local shelters and families in need of donated items. According to Operation Food Search, April Showers provides 99 percent of all personal care items distributed in the region. GSEM attributes this major accomplishment to the generosity of residents within its community.