Saturday, March 29, 2014
Brownie Philanthropy Badge
I think the girls enjoyed earning this badge and from a leader standpoint it was a good teaching moment. My girls come from a very fortunate area and I think it is hard for them to imagine not having the essentials. So to introduce them to the fact that many children struggle each day to find a healthy meal, that some children wear used shoes because they cannot afford new and going to school and having enough school supplies is a blessing, was a great learning experience.
I began my meeting by asking the girls if anyone knew what the word "philanthropy" meant? No one knew. So I gave them the long, official definition and received a lot of blank stares. I broke the definition down to a simple sentence, a "Philanthropist" is someone who makes sure people have what they need. Then the girls understood and joined in the conversation lending examples to helping others through church, school and the community.
Next we gave 4 examples of how a person or Girl Scout can become a Philanthropist:
1. Give to charities as much as you can, but still providing for your own needs.
2. Get involved in a charity that interests them.
3. Develop your own Charity.
We discussed the 10 Most Popularly Searched Charities On-Line:
American Red Cross
Wounded Warrior Project
Heifer Project International
Doctors without Borders
Save the Children
I tried to relate charities more to their age level and interests where their "cents" can make a difference:
These charities were suggested by the girls:
Jump Rope for Heart
Christmas is for Children
Play it Forward
Cup of Joe
Next I tried to give the girls a perspective on what things truly cost these days.
What does a new car cost? about $10,000 Does a used car cost the same? No Why?
Why do we sell used cars? prevent them from going to landfill, cheaper for next user
What does it cost for a lunch for a child? $1.27 more for nutritious, healthy food
What does it cost for a dinner for four? In home? hard pressed to provide dinners less than $5 ($35/week) and would not provide a lot of variety $100/week for all 3 meals is possible with no snacks etc. (rounding out at $400/mo)
Going out to eat? For a family of 4, would cost a minimum of $20
What regular expenses does a homeowner or renter have?
Electricity - small apartment approx. $125/mo (Large Home - $300-500)
Trash - $15/mo
Phone - $50/mo
Cable/Internet - $30/mo
Alarm Monitoring - $20/mo
Lawn Maintenance - $50-100
We passed out several Sunday ads saved for a few weeks. We asked the girls to cut out 1 "NEED" item and 1 "WANT" item and glue on 2 separate boards labels appropriately. This made the girls really think about what items they truly need and what items are simply luxuries or wants. Then we discussed the completed boards and made sure the items on each board were appropriate.
Tape, glue dots OR glue stick
2 Poster or foam boards
newspaper ads or magazines
Next I described the difference between "Common Sense" and our play on words "Common Cents"
I shared a story of the day when one of my daughters helped clean out the car:
Taylor accidentally throws out a dime and I told her make sure you pick that dime up and she said why it is just a dime...
Every cent can make a difference, especially if we save our change and use it for something good. Girl Scouts would be happy to take $5 of change you have saved and will use it to help buy patches for less fortunate girls. Churches would appreciate this donation and put it to good use as well.
So I posed a question to them, "What can a DIME buy today?"
(This took quite an internet search to find some good examples, but really opened the girls mind to think about the importance of change)
Surprisingly the girls could not think of anything other than maybe candy.
What can a dime buy?
Change is wonderful at a garage sale or thrift store you can often buy scarves, books and trinket jewelry for 10 cents
5 - 2 cents stamps for use in the mail
package of plant seeds on clearance
fish at Pets Mart
remnants of yarn and fabric
school supplies like erasers, pencil sharpeners etc at beginning of school year
candy in the penny isle of a dollar store
10 cents flushes your toilet
In a 3rd World, poor country your dime can buy a child a meal of rice, oats or porridge
After this discussion I encouraged the girls to begin saving their change and to consider donating to a charity of their choice. So we created stained glass banks out of mason chairs to help them collect their spare change. We labeled the banks: "Common Cent$"
Mason Jars (Wal-Mart brand has no etching on jars and are cheaper 12 jars/$8)
glass paint (Folk Art Enamels)
paint palettes (Wal-Mart $0.98 nice to have for troops for painting projects)
card stock for lid (neon index cards)
exacto knife to cut change hole (**For Leader use ONLY**)
To Print Notes for this badge for easy reference CLICK HERE