After just one week of fundraising, a local Girl Scout Troop raised enough money to donate over 200 presents to sick children at Wolfson Children's Hospital.
Jacksonville Girl Scout Troop 247 is comprised of a gaggle of giggling girls all in the third grade.
They're silly and sweet just as third graders ought to be. They're also brilliant and more than that, giving.
The young ladies meet once a week while school is in session. They lead the meetings and discuss the things they are going to do in the community. Their Troop Leader, Stephanie Keaton, said that they focused this year on "changing the story."
They talked about how they could change the story of people in their community and beyond. Their first thought was to have a hug-a-thon and sell one of the world's most prized possessions: a hug. Then, they would use that money to do good.
However, hugging people at a hospital can spread germs and not all the ladies were okay with hugging strangers. So they devised a plan. They were going to pre-sell the "hugs" (now in the form of a bag with Hershey's Kisses in it) and give them out to people at Wolfson Children's Hospital.
In just one week they sold hundreds of dollars worth of "hugs."
They used that money to buy over 200 presents that were donated to the kids who are too sick to leave the hospital for the holidays.
Keaton said the girls picked the presents themselves. They budgeted to make their money stretch and were able to bring in a haul Santa might be jealous of.
On December 13, the ladies went to the hospital, clad in their heavily adorned Girl Scout vests, and gave out the "hugs" with a "Have a Merry Christmas," wish for good measure. They brought the gifts to the hospital and changed the story for many sick kids who will be stuck in the hospital over the holidays.