Comforting foster children: Scout embraces compassion
Local Girl Scout Sydney Blomster, 13, made the very grown-up decision to embrace the principal of helping others in her effort to earn her Girl Scout Silver Award.
Her project involved providing 34 comfort care bags to the Martin/Faribault County foster care program.
The bags are meant to offer some compassion and stability to children removed from their homes, a difficult transition if ever there was one. Each bag contains a blanket, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, stuffed animal and a comb.
Sydney and her mother Rosemary explained why she chose the particular project, and how they worked with friends, family and the community to make it happen.
“When I was little, I went to daycare at a place where they had foster kids,” Sydney said. “I always saw new kids, and I saw they needed stuff all the time. Human Services gave us a list of stuff they needed, and I just crossed some stuff off the list and put it in the bags.”
She sewed and quilted the individual blankets, with the aid of others in the community.
“Part of the Silver Award is to involve people in the community,” Rosemary said. “She went to her sister’s Girl Scout Troop and had them help her cut and pin fabric. We had help from her own troop too, along with her grandma.”
When asked about funding the project, Sydney noted she was pleased with the generosity of others.
“I took a lot of donations,” she said. “My grandma donated a lot, my dentist donated toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss.”
Sydney enjoyed picking out the fabric for the blankets, and her mother said she made several styles of blankets, suitable for everyone from infants to older children such as teenagers, as well as including differences for boys and girls.
When asked about the challenges, Sydney found that, as with many of us, she was her own obstacle.
“Sometimes I got lazy and I didn’t want to finish sewing,” she said.
Nevertheless, she powered through and completed her project.
She also ensured that it can live on, as she provided both the county and Fairmont Girl Scout Service Unit with binders on how to make the blankets and bags in the future.
Sydney again said she is thankful for all of the help she received.
“I want to say thank you to my Girl Scout Troop, the Service Unit, Nancy Klemek and all of our family and friends who donated,” she said.