Girl Scouts give pillows to Hospice

BALDWIN — The Hospice of Michigan will be getting a comfy gift this season thanks to many of Lake County's Girl Scouts.

Throughout November, the Girl Scout troops of Lake County helped out their community by stuffing and sewing small pillows to be used by Hospice of Michigan patients. So far, 37 pillows have been made and given to Hospice.

"The pillows these young ladies made are used for comfort and to help prop up an arm or a leg if patients have trouble," said Deborah Davis, volunteer service coordinator for Hospice of Michigan. "It helps provide some comfort and joy at the end of these people's lives to know that someone out there wants to help them, even if they don't know their names."

This service project is a perfect example of one of the pillars of Girl Scout philosophy: teaching children at a young age to volunteer and contribute to their community.

"It's teaching them it's not always about receiving something," said Sinda Heighton, leader of troops 295, 570 and 567. "We want them to know sometimes it's better to help without the promise of a reward."

The Girl Scouts of Lake County are frequently out in the community. They regularly perform outdoor clean-up, volunteer at events like the yearly Salmon Run Race and go caroling during the Christmas season.

Hospice supplied the material out of past donations. Two local volunteers, who asked only to be referred to as Dot and Maxine, did the cutting and machine sewing while the kids ages 5 to 15 did the stuffing. Some of the older girls sewed the opening shut. For many, it was the first time they had used a needle and thread. This involved all five Girl Scout troops that meet in Baldwin.

"We want people to know the Girl Scouts are out there doing things," said Heighton. "They're not just sitting around and doing crafts, they're out there in the community contributing."

Davis expressed her gratitude to the local girls for the good they've done for those under her organization's care.

"I give them a great, big thanks," remarked Davis. "And I think it's a great start to your life when you volunteer and learn to do something for your community at such a young age."