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The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.
girl scout volunteers Girl Scouts from Troop 30771 in Oakland, California, sort through the art supplies they collected to donate to the Oakland Children's Hospital as part of the Artist-in-Residence program there. (Photo courtesy Mimi Evans)

Girl Scouts Heal With Art

Donations to children's hospital "make all the difference"

By Mimi Evans | December 10 , 2010

Girl Scouts in Troop 30771 proved the strength of girl power when they recently held a local art supply drive for the Oakland's Children Hospital in California.

Their plan was this: to collect art supplies to donate to the sick children at the hospital. The supplies ranged from markers to beanie babies and were collected from students at local schools and donated to the hospital's Artist-in-Residence program. The program allows sick children to "express their feelings, hopes, and fears through art," which in turn helps "improve a child's ability to heal on every level," according to the hospital website.

Once the idea was approved by the schools and troop leader Victoria Szabo, the real work began.

"They were surprised by the amount of work involved in planning and organizing the project and the collection event," Szabo said.

The girls posted flyers around local school campuses and placed announcements in school newspapers. All the art supplies they collected were packaged and sent to the hospital.

"The keys to success in this drive were cooperation, enthusiasm, and determination," said Akanksha Dadlani, a participating Girl Scout.

The effect of the supplies was immediate, according to an employee at the hospital.

"When there are things to give, it makes all the difference to a patient's stay in the hospital," said Mary Lekich, who works at the Volunteer Department of the hospital.

The supplies also helped families of patients.

"Families were able to come together to focus on art making instead of illness or injury," said Hayley Oggel, the Oakland Hospital's Artist-in-Residence.

The drive's positive effect didn't stop there. It also helped the girls themselves.

"It was a wonderful experience to bond with friends, learn how to organize events, and to relate to people while keeping them enthusiastic," Akanksha said.

Troop 30771 hopes to have a similar drive in the future.

"All donations are welcome all year long," Lekich told the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

KIDS MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Scholastic's newest team of Kid Reporters take a look at what young people around the country are doing to help out the less fortunate this holiday season in the Kids Make a Difference Special Report.

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