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Girl Scouts make a difference for strangers

Tribune Chronicle / Renee Fox Erica Brooks, a sixth-grader at Jefferson PK-8 School and a member of Girl Scout Troop 80324, helped 15 other Scouts Saturday to clean up the Main Street bridge in Warren for Make A Difference Day.

WARREN — “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Lucille Bickel said Saturday to a group of Girl Scouts from Troop 598 after they finished bringing about two dozen boxes into the basement of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, where she runs a clothing closet.

“Look at how many people you will help this year,” Bickel said, waving her hands at the more than 140 blankets the girls, their troop leaders and volunteers stitched together, the 22 pillows they made and gathered, and 19 winter coats they brought for the closet.

“You never get to be here when we actually give them to the people in need, but I want to tell you about the thank yous I get, the hugs, the smiles,” Bickel said.

For some of the people who visit the 140 Cherry Ave. NW church looking for groceries or clothing, the warm blankets and homemade zucchini bread the girls bake will be the only gifts they receive for Christmas, Bickel said.

“When I tell them one of the blankets is from the Girl Scouts, they are so grateful. Many of them can barely pay their rent, so they come here for clothes. Some of them get evicted, some end up living under a bridge. These blankets give them something to warm up with. It really makes a difference in their lives,” Bickel said.

The troop and hundreds of other volunteers took part Saturday in the 16th annual Trumbull County Make A Difference Day. The day of good deeds, sponsored by the Tribune Chronicle with support from Farmers National Bank, is a day when local volunteers give of themselves to improve their communities.

Several Scout troops participated.

The girls in Troop 80324 cleaned up the bridge on Warren’s Main Street, after Alexis Carter, an eighth-grader at Lincoln PK-8 School and troop member, got the idea.

“We pass the bridge every week on the way to our meetings and seeing all of the litter made me feel terrible,” Carter said. “This is our community. We should work to keep it clean. And maybe if someone sees us out here picking up their trash, they’ll think before throwing it out the next time,” Carter said.

Essence Green, a fourth-grader at McGuffey PK-8 School, said people should not litter. Yasmine Patterson, a fourth-grader at Jefferson PK-8, said it is wrong to litter, especially when it is so easy to simply throw your trash away.

“People throw litter away like it is nothing. Animals might eat it. It is pollution — it is bad for the fish,” said Serenity Breckenridge, a sixth-grader at Jefferson PK-8.

The girls, about 15 of them, spent the morning gathering about 25 to 30 bags of trash with the help of several parents, said Sonya Carter, troop leader.

Girl Scout Troop 80259 and 80865 helped by cleaning up the community garden on Willard Avenue NE.

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