Partnership That Inspires Patriotism

Partnership That Inspires Patriotism

Posted on May 22, 2017 by Veronica Brandon Miller
PHOTO ID: Goodwill Manasota’s director of the Veterans Services Program C.J. Bannister (center) with Girl Scouts Ariel McBride (left) and Faith Holliday

Editor’s Note: Veronica Brandon Miller is the Vice President of Goodwill Manasota.

Upon first glance, one might not find Goodwill Manasota and the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida to be terribly similar organizations. Goodwill works to change lives through the power of work, with programs and services primarily focused on career services and support. Through leadership development, the Girl Scouts works to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Just where might the intersections occur?

Over the past few years, we have found many. Both Goodwill and the Girl Scouts care deeply about sustainability and the environment; we have worked together on projects that highlight our commitment to the concept of reduce – reuse – recycle, thereby keeping many pounds of unwanted goods out of area landfills. The concept of mentorship is another area where we have enjoyed collaboration — Goodwill benefits from the volunteerism of numerous community leaders, many of whom are thrilled to offer the benefit of their experience and wisdom to young people like the girls in Girl Scouts.

This year, we have deepened our relationship and come together for a partnership that embraces the Legacy of Valor concept. We were all inspired during The Patterson Foundation Legacy of Valor campaign, which took place from March 2013 through November 2014, to see the vast number of community partnerships and hundreds of events, which eventually touched nearly half a million people throughout our four-county area of Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties. The purpose: to honor veterans, inspire patriotism, and embrace freedom.

These are actions that are deeply meaningful to Goodwill and the Girl Scouts. We decided to use the Legacy of Valor concept to inspire a new partnership between our organizations, called the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Through this program, Girl Scout Cadettes, who are in grades 6-8, are participating in a variety of activities to earn leadership badges and a special Legacy of Valor patch.

Participating Girl Scouts are being linked to woman veterans through the Goodwill Manasota Veterans Services Program. Through this mentorship, each girl has an opportunity to learn first-hand the sacrifices that the veterans have made and how they have become leaders in the community. In addition, the girls are learning the proper protocol for honoring the flag. Thanks to the Military Officers Association of Sarasota (MOAS), each Girl Scout has received a booklet called “Old Glory: A Guide to Displaying and Honoring Our Nation’s Flag.” They are learning to respect the flag, follow the flag code, and perform a flag retirement ceremony once it has become too worn or damaged to display.

This project combines mentorship, community service, and patriotism, all of which are values that are very dear to Goodwill and the Girl Scouts. By partnering to honor veterans, inspire patriotism, and embrace freedom, we are expanding our reach and multiplying our impact. We thank The Patterson Foundation for providing the inspiration for a most worthwhile endeavor.

Join Goodwill Manasota on Twitter: @GoodwillFL
Join Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida on Twitter: @GSGCF

Comments (1)

  • Estelle


    22 May 2017 at 11:03 | #

    Kudos for embracing this fabulous partnership. I love this project for your objectives to inspire patriotism, embrace freedom and honor veterans is , as the kids say, "awesome".


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