MILLERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The link is strong between northern Dauphin County and areas of West Virginia hit hard recently by severe flooding.
“My mom has some work friends there, and my dad has one really good friend that lives there,” says Alivia Moore. “I’ve been there a couple of times. I love it.”
Alivia, 7, is among the members of Millersburg based Girl Scout Troop 13011. This week, the girls began collecting relief items for victims in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, roughly 300 miles away.
“I saw pictures of it, and there was a lot of mud and brown water coming out of pipes,” said Moore. “And I felt really scared at first, and a I felt a little sad.”
Along with Moore’s parents, Kristi and Doug, who both hold degrees from West Virginia University, a number of other parents of scouts and troop leaders have other family and personal connections to the Mountain State.
“I’m a huge Mountaineers fan,” said Nicole Hooper, troop leader.
Hooper, wearing a WVU t-shirt during a donation collection event at Grace United Methodist Church on Thursday night, says her local Girl Scout council put her in touch with a leader of another troop in Greenbrier County. The other leader indicated that members of her own troop had been affected by the flooding, and said she had been funding local relief efforts for those girls and their families with her own savings.
“She was so grateful that someone else might want to help,” adds Hooper. “A lot of the girls that are in this troop down there have lost everything. They’ve lost their clothes, their toys, just everything.”
When owners of Millersburg radio station WQLV-FM heard of the efforts by the scouts, they felt compelled to get involved. Prior to operating the radio station in Dauphin County, the Cooper family lived in West Virginia. Braxton Cooper, who performs sales and marketing for WQLV, says the station helped organize a donation collection at the Elizabethville Walmart on Sunday, July 10 from 12-5PM. The station also agreed to air a schedule of free on-air public service announcements promoting the event this week.
“People can simply come to that Walmart store, and we’ll give them a list of items that are needed for flood relief. They can purchase the item and drop it off with the Girl Scouts on their way out,” says Cooper.
“We are looking for cleaning supplies, Rubbermaid totes to put the cleaning supplies in, clothes and toys,” adds Hooper. “Pretty much anything. We are also seeking monetary donations, which we will use to purchase those types of relief items needed most in West Virginia.”
According to Hooper, the items collected will be transported to Greenbrier County by parents of troop members, and given directly to the leaders of the other Girl Scout troop. The supplies will then be distributed to flood victims as determined by need.
“I’m just doing it because I care, and hope they get better and safe,” says scout Lillian Deibler, 11.
Along with learning a lesson in charity, the Girl Scouts of Troop 13011 will earn a Disaster Relief merit badge.
“We wanted to keep them involved in scouting throughout the summer when everybody is on vacation,” said Hooper. “We thought this would be a great lesson for them in giving back.”
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP:
What: Donation Drive for WV Flood Victims
When: Sunday, July 10 from 12-5pm
Where: Walmart, 200 Kocher Ln, Elizabethville, PA 17023
Or contact troop leaders via Facebook to arrange donations.