Young Girl Scouts Share Books With Girls in India
During the month of March, Daisy Troop No. 916 at Farm Life Elementary School collected books to send to a group of girls in New Delhi, India, who live together at the Shadman House -- a Methodist home for girls who have been orphaned or whose families cannot afford to care for them.
The idea was sparked after hearing of a local couple, John and Leslie Watschke, who have been regularly giving of their time and resources to the Shadman.
John Watschke is a pilot for American Airlines, and after many visits to New Delhi, he was struck by the level of poverty in the area and wanted to help.
Through his home church in Wisconsin, he was able to make contact with the Shadman House, a home to 135 girls ages 6-18. The Watschkes began delivering funds and needed items directly to the home during John's frequent trips. Soon after, friends and acquaintances learned of their efforts and joined them.
After hearing Watschke speak to the congregation at Pinehurst United Methodist Church one Sunday, Amie Fraley, the troop's leader, brought the idea to the Daisies.
"When I contacted the Watshkes, Leslie said she would be happy to come and speak to the troop about the girls in India," said Fraley.
"She was an amazing guest for our troop of 16 kindergarten and first graders, as she is a former first-grade teacher. She held their attention as she shared with them the many ways they are similar to the Shadman girls and also the many ways our lives are different from theirs."
The Daisies decided the way in which they could help the most was to contribute to the Shadman library. Most of the girls read English, and their library consisted of only a few books.
The project was a part of a series of "petals" the Daisies earned that cover the components of the Girl Scout Law.
As the youngest group of Girl Scouts, Daisies spend most of the year learning what it means to be a Girl Scout through simple and fun activities.
The girls received a special treat when Leslie Watschke made a return visit to collect the books for the girls in India and brought with her gifts made by the girls at the Shadman House for the Daisies in Whispering Pines.
"Troop No. 916 plans to send many more books to their new friends in India," says Fraley.
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