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Three members of Girl Scout Troop 96028 from Maywood, NJ, brought smiles to the faces of countless frontline healthcare workers at Hackensack University Medical Center recently when they delivered hundreds of “Smile Goody Bags.”
The scouts raised money by posting a “Have You Thanked a Nurse Today” plea on social media. With the donated money, they purchased special snacks, soothing self-care products, and an array of other surprises, which they stuffed into hundreds of special gift bags – adorned with a smile sticker – and hand-delivered to the delight of the hospital workers.
“I just don’t think nurses get enough appreciation,” says Sarah McAdams, one of three Girl Scouts who came up with the idea as part of a project to earn the Scouts Silver Award – the second-highest award of the Girl Scouts of the USA and the highest award that a Girl Scout Cadette can achieve.
“My aunt is a nurse, and I know how stressful it was for her during COVID,” explains Scout Grace Neilsen. She says this project was personal for her and that making nurses happy was important.
“Achieving the Silver Award shows that the Scout is a leader who is organized, determined, and dedicated to improving their community – all things these three young women have demonstrated,” says Dena Egbert, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Administrative Director of Nursing at Hackensack University Medical Center. “This was a major undertaking from the fundraising to the facilitating of the delivery, and our nurses certainly appreciate all their efforts.”
“This has been an incredible experience,” says Scout Gabriella Jaskot. “As a society, we depend on our nurses, and to thank them in person was greatly rewarding.”
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