• Goodwill Manasota, Girl Scouts partner on leadership project to honor veterans

    Goodwill Manasota’s director of the Veterans Services Program C.J. Bannister (center) with Girl Scouts Ariel McBride (left) and Faith Holliday

    SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Goodwill Manasota and Girls Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida are teaming up for the “Girl Scout Leadership Experience,” a community project with the goal of honoring veterans, inspiring patriotism, and embracing freedom. Girl Scout Cadettes (grades 6-8) will participate in a variety of activities to earn leadership badges and a Legacy of Valor patch.

    Participating Girl Scouts will be linked to a woman veteran through the Goodwill Manasota Veterans Task Force. Through this mentorship, each girl will have the opportunity to learn first-hand the sacrifices that the veterans have made and how they have become leaders in the community.

    In addition, the girls will learn the proper protocol for honoring the flag. Thanks to the Military Officers Association of Sarasota (MOAS), each Girl Scout will receive a booklet called “Old Glory: A Guide to Displaying and Honoring Our Nation’s Flag.” They will learn to respect the flag, follow the flag code, and how to perform a flag retirement ceremony once it has become too worn or damaged to display.

    “The Girl Scout Leadership Experience is an opportunity for all girls to learn about civic engagement and patriotism, and to inspire them to community service,” said Sue Stewart, CEO of Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida. “Respect for the flag has been embedded in Girl Scout DNA for over 100 years.”

    For a number of years, Goodwill Manasota has served as a drop-off center for those who want to respectfully donate their tattered and worn flags; the organization will provide additional services to help with the flag retirement ceremonies.

    “Service to our veterans is at the core of Goodwill’s work and, for the veterans we serve, the flag truly represents the sacrifices they have made for our freedom and the pride they feel in serving our country,” said Goodwill Manasota vice president Veronica Brandon Miller. “This project combines mentorship, community service, and patriotism, all of which are values that are very dear to Goodwill. We are pleased to be working yet again with the Girl Scouts on such a positive community effort.”

    The project will culminate with the 3rd annual Salute to the Runway fashion show, which takes place Friday, July 14, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Michael’s On East (1212 East Avenue S., Sarasota). The show will feature women veterans wearing fashionable creations made by Girl Scouts, using items found at local Goodwill stores.

    For more information, call (941) 355-2721 or go to experiencegoodwill.org.

    About Goodwill Manasota
    Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2016, Goodwill Manasota served 28,207 people, placed 755 people in jobs and assisted 240 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 40 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota, in essence, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.

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