Troop 73200, the Girl Scout troop for high schoolers living in Wellesley is working with Generic Ministry for their winter drive, their first-ever drive through the high school. They are reaching out to the high school community asking everyone to donate winter gear for the frigid cold months in Boston.
Wellesley resident John Mark Thomas started Generic Ministry 15 years ago. A volunteer-based company, their goal is to help the homeless population throughout Boston. Every Tuesday and Thursday two volunteers travel around Boston in a van and help the homeless during the night, bringing the necessary supplies such as toiletries, water, and meals. The most commonly asked for items include socks, underwear, hooded sweatshirts, jeans, and sneakers.
In order to volunteer, people need to sign up for spots in advance. Those volunteers make package meals and drive the van around Boston.
“Thankfully [the signup sheet] fills up quickly and is usually filled up for many months in advance. We are so grateful for all our volunteers,” said Jenny Kane, a volunteer from Generic Ministry.
Kady Bedard ’21, one of the troop leaders, reached out to a troop member’s mother who had worked with Generic Ministry before. They decided that this drive should be through school.
“We can reach further than just the Girl Scout community, and by different connections through the high school, we can make this a really big thing and do a lot of good for this organization,” Bedard said.
Troop 73200 goes beyond what a stereotypical Girl Scout represents, as they do not just sell cookies and wear badges. As high school students, they take on leadership roles in the community. Most of the girls in Troop 73200 lead the kindergarten and first-grade troops. In addition, they often host drives to raise money for different organizations and have the ability to go on service trips each year. Since the troop is not a high school club, not many students know about it. As a result, Girl Scouts often get overlooked for other extracurricular activities.
“Yeah, I feel like [Troop 73200] goes under the radar a lot, but I think it is really fun. We do more than the typical ‘Girl Scout’ things with different drives and a lot of different trips,” Bedard said.
Most of the 40 girls in the troop started when they were in elementary school, but they are always looking for new members to be part of their community even if they have no previous experience with Girl Scouts.
“We are always looking for new girls even if they do not have any experience,” another troop member, Ashley Franklin ’22, said.
The drive ended on February 14, and it was very successful as many bags of clothes collected and ready to go to the many people who need them.
“There [were] a lot of donations, and I know [Generic Ministry] appreciate people helping… I also think the school really liked helping too and getting involved with this effort,” Franklin said.