Matawan Girl Scout Spreads Hope to Monmouth County Homeless
The 17-year-old scout proves that a little can go a long way
When 17-year-old Sara Rutch was brainstorming ideas for her Girl Scouts Gold Award Project, she didn't have to look much further than her closet for inspiration.
The Matawan resident decided to recycle shoeboxes and help homeless people in Monmouth County at the same time by supplying them with a shoebox full of toiletries. She took the idea one step further by choosing to decorate the shoeboxes with bright and hopeful designs.
Rutch traveled to several Girl Scout troops in the area to educate them on homelessness. At the end of her presentation, the scouts would then make and fill their very own box of hope.
"I felt it was important to get younger Girl Scouts involved," Rutch said.
The colorfully decorated boxes contained everything from deoderant and shampoo to children's books and chewing gum.
Slowly but surely Rutch, who started the Box of Hope project in October 2011, began to accumulate decorated shoeboxes.
Once she collected about 200 of them, she organized some fellow scouts and traveled to Lunch Break in Red Bank on Saturday, July 14. There the scouts handed out boxes to everyone who came in for a meal.
"It was something simple and easy to do but it means a lot to other people and can really help them out," said Rutch. "I learned about how much people appreciate things and that when you ask the community to do something they will all come together."
The Gold Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn. To achieve the award, the scout must demonstrate leadership by educating others on an issue that affects the community while planning and executing a philanthropic effort in that area.
Rutch's project is currently being reviewed by the Girl Scouts and she should find out soon whether or not her efforts earned a Gold Award.