By John Davis
Oxford Park Commission
The noise level at the Mississippi State Veterans Home was a little higher than normal Monday. When 10 girl scouts stop in to drop of Valentine’s Day cards, it’s hard to keep the sounds of excitement down too much.
Serving the community is something the leaders of Brownie Girl Scout Troop 13616 are always interested in. So, when Marlee Carpenter, the Lafayette County RSVP Representative, called Shannon Sullivan about the Valentine’s for Vets program, everything clicked and fell perfectly into place.
“We have done other things in the community and we are all about helping the community, always looking for opportunities,” said Sullivan, who added that 140 cards were made by the girls. “Each one of them decorated them differently and put their own personality on it. They’re very creative and used to doing crafts, but they’ve also visited the veteran’s home before and they have a connection and they were glad to come back and do something special for them around Valentine’s Day.”
Carpenter, and members of RSVP, joined the girls at Monday’s drop off event. She was also in the activity center when the group made them.
“There were a couple of different special days that helped us plan Valentine’s for Vets. National Mentoring Month, our 45 Days of Service celebration and Valentine’s Day all came together for the perfect activity,” Carpenter said. “What better way to spread love around our community and mentor our youth than Troops visiting Troops?
“Our RSVP volunteers spoke and assisted Girl Scout Troop 13616 by crafting Valentine’s Day cards for the Veterans,” Carpenter continued. “They created quotes, poems, and art work specifically for each veteran then hand-delivered them. Our goal was to teach awareness to the Girl Scouts and to bring happiness to the veterans. The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program wants to thank everyone who helped make Valentine’s for Vets a success; Girl Scouts, leaders and Veteran’s Home staff and nurses.”
Sullivan said that even though the children are age 7 and 8, they understood the sacrifice the veterans made for the country. Sullivan added that the veterans seemed excited to see the girls and receive the cards.
“I think it uplifted their spirits. We plan on visiting the veteran’s home for other occasions,” Sullivan said. “We have visited Oxford Rehab for different things. The Girl Scout motto is to make the world a better place. We feel like reaching out to the community, and looking outside of ourselves and to others, we feel like it will help these girls grow up and do the same thing. Girl Scouts is a lot more than just camping and selling cookies. It’s about helping the community and helping others.”
Before visiting the veterans, another recent community event Sullivan’s troop was involved with was a food drive for The Pantry. Over $1,400 and over 3,5000 pounds of food was raised working alongside Boy Scout Troop 144.