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Helping improve kids’ hospital stays led to earning Girl Scouts Silver Award

Kidsday reporter and Girl Scout Isabella Verga, of

Kidsday reporter and Girl Scout Isabella Verga, of Rockville Centre, helped improve kids' stays at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park. Credit: Verga family

I earned my Silver Award in Girl Scouts. When people hear that you’re a Girl Scout they automatically ask: “Hey, you sell cookies, right?” But that is not all we do.

My troop, 862, consists of five of my friends and my mom as our troop leader. We first earned our Bronze Award and then moved on to our goal of earning the Silver Award. For our project, my troop wanted to help kids less fortunate than ourselves. We spoke to a neighbor who had a child who successfully battled a brain tumor. We wanted to try to improve kids’ stays at hospitals. Our neighbor was extremely helpful and informed us that most things in the hospital were geared toward younger children.

We came up with the idea of creating a teen room, where the kids can hang out and interact in a safe environment. We got in touch with Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park to propose our idea. Unfortunately, the hospital had the same idea as us and was already planning a teen room. We still wanted to stick with the idea of improving kids’ hospital stays for our Silver Award goal, so we had a video game drive. We collected more than 200 video games and equipment that we delivered to the hospital.

Our next task was to help decorate the hospital. We donated an art installation. With the money we earned from selling cookies, we bought frames that snapped open from the front to display art. We provided the first round of artwork: paintings and inspirational quotes in bright color palettes. We also donated art supplies so that the kids could create masterpieces of their own. The hospital staff loved our paintings and could not wait to display them.

With this project my troop and I created a contact with the events coordinator at Cohen Children’s Medical Center. We will reach out to her when we have new ideas or help is needed. With her permission, we gave her information to the “Cancer Cares” Club at our school. If you want to participate in this type of program, contact Cohen Children’s Medical Center. My troop and I loved helping such an amazing cause and would do it again in a heartbeat.

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