Scout completes Gold Award project

GIRARD – With the school year to start shortly, a newly remodeled the children’s center clothing room at the Emmanuel Care Center in Girard will provide needed items for families with children.

Completing the project and earning her Gold Award in scouting is Kaila DeChristofaro, 16, a junior at Girard High School who held a dedication and ribbon cutting for the room.

DeChristofaro, the daughter of Gene and Betsy DeChristofaro, said she put in 80 hours to complete the project and earn the award which is the highest a Girl Scout can obtain in scouting.

She has been part of scouting for 10 years and is currently with Troop 80739 .

Sister Jean Orsuto, executive director of the center, said not many scouts accomplish what DeChristofaro has, with only five percent earning a Gold Award.

“Kaila and her mother approached me about a year ago to see if there was any project she could do here for her Girl Scout Gold Award. My thoughts immediately went to the clothing center. It was a project that needed done,” Orsuto said.

She said the room previously had old bins and storage area with worn and stained carpeting.

“When I showed them the room, Kaila said she would take on the project on. What Kaila did showed how important it is to volunteer and raising awareness to helping in your community,” Orsuto said.

She said the center helps a lot of families in the area.

Orsuto said at first she had her doubts that the project would get done.

“We appreciate what she did to make this room look so beautiful. Kaila did everything from raising funds to get this project completed.” Orsuto said.

Also contributing to the project was a grant from the Youngstown Foundation and Jib Jab in Girard.

”The generosity of all those who gave and everyone’s contribution helped. This will assist those in need,” Orsuto said.

Mayor Jim Melfi said without volunteers the center would not be able to serve the community

”Your dedication and service will help them so much,” he said.

The center has a section of children, including babies, as well as women and men.

Orsuto said in the upcoming weeks many parents will be coming to the center for clothes for their children returning to school in late August. Clothing donations may be brought to the center.

DeChristfaro said other girls in her troop had done their Bronze Award projects at the center so she also wanted to see if there was a more extensive project she could do at the center.

She said the project entailed putting in new shelves, sorting and labeling the clothes.

”The fundraising was the most challenging part and putting up some of the shelves,” DeChristofaro said.

Center hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday for individuals and families who are registered at the center.

The center is part of Humility of Mary Housing Ministry and started in the mid 1990s serving individuals and families in McDonald, Girard, Liberty and Mineral Ridge.