By Lindsay Carey
The Giving Back Girls recently collected backpacks and school supplies to provide for children in need and also helda food drive to support the food pantry at Southington Community Services (SCS).
The girls, who voluntary serve the Southington community, collected school supplies to fill back packs, store them and then hand them out to children before school started for the Smart Start program.
They filled between 300 to 400 back packs with school supplies for boys and girls in the Southington community who need it.
This is a massive project that the Giving Back Girls took over with the encouragement of Janet Mellon from SCS. Under the guidance of the Arc of Southington, the Giving Back Girls have successful grown the project.
“Every single year we have less and less we have to do,” said Mark Fazzolari, assistant director of Southington Community Services, about the Smart Start program. “From the drives for schools supplies to the group getting together and organizing the supplies, and then they work with the schools too, they free up so much time by helping us with it.”
Since the Giving Back Girls have taken over the project, it has allowed SCS to focus on meeting the needs of the 70 families that come to pantry everyday.
At their “Fill that Fire Truck” food drive on Aug. 23, around 10 of the 30 girls in the Giving Back Girls program collected 1,044.7 pounds of food and $528.82 at Walmart.
This is one of the three food drives the Giving Back Girls conduct throughout the year to provide for SCS.
“We couldn’t do what we do without groups like the Giving Back Girls they’re unbelievable with the amount that they do,” said Fazzolari. “They’re a great organization and an asset to not only SCS, but to the entire Southington community.”
According to Tricia Gibney, whose daughter Emily Gibney founded the group, the Giving Back Girls is one of the bigger donation groups that the SCS has.
“If we are needed to do something or there is someone in need we help,” said Tricia Gibney, from the Arc of Southington. “Without our community none of these events would happen.”
With school starting back, the girls become extremely busy with school and sports so their activity within the community tends to slow down this time of year.
However, the girls still manage to do a few things in December like adopting a family in need for the holidays.
They were also able to help support around 300 children this summer and send them to Camp Sloper.
The group that was started by Gibney’s daughter is for girls from elementary to high school, and also includes members with disabilities.
By Lindsay Carey