00003-girlscoutsWithSignIt’s safe to say the young ladies of Girl Scout Troop 1161 love animals. Between the four of them, there are twenty-three pets: five dogs, four cats and fourteen chickens. Even with so many furry and feathered friends, the girls still have plenty of love to share with the community. Recently, while working on their Silver Award project, these innovative young ladies devised a way to provide pet food to families in need.

“We wanted to help families who are having financial difficulties keep their pets,” said Emma Woolley of Troop 1161, “We wanted to help by giving pet food, so people won’t have to surrender their pets when things get tough. Pets are a part of the family too.”

Together, Auburn Riley, Emma Woolley, Kacy Metcalf and Alexandra Schockmel took their idea to The Rev. Michael Hoffman of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. He introduced them to Community Lifeline Center.

“We set up a meeting and they were very interested,” said Woolley, “They loved our idea, but, they didn’t have storage space for pet food.”

Next, the young ladies took to social media. While searching online,  they found the Facebook page for the North Texas Pet Food Pantry and learned it is located in McKinney. Troop member, Alexandra Schockmel, then reached out via email.

“Cheryl Spencer, the lady who runs the North Texas Pet Food Pantry was very interested in working with us. And, she had storage!”002GirlScoutsThumbsUp

According to troop leader Sonya Riley, Spencer primarily worked with animal shelters, but wanted to work with individuals and families too. However, without a good way to screen applicants or conduct needs assessments, this part of her goal remained unfulfilled.

“With access to her storage, and Community Lifeline’s ability to assess needs, the girls connected the two organizations. Together, everyone achieved the common goal of keeping families and pets together,” said Riley.

In addition to connecting Community Lifeline and the North Texas Pet Food Pantry, the girls reached out to Larry Robinson with 3E, to build relationships with local churches willing to conduct pet food drives. They will also be conducting awareness and fundraising campaigns throughout the summer.

Want to help  Troop 1161 share the love? Be a part of this wonderful community service. Join the girls for their summer fundraisers, June 7,  between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. at Wal-Mart located at 2041 N. Redbud Blvd. in McKinney, and June 8, between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Gebo’s located at the corner of Hwy. 75 and Hwy 380 in McKinney.

00002-girlscoutsAtclcThe North Texas Pet Food Pantry provides pet food assistance to rescue groups and animal shelters in need as they care for homeless, sick and abused companion animals. They also provide pet food assistance to individuals with temporary loss of income, and assistance in emergency and crisis situations that require care for companion animals. To learn more about the North Texas Pet Food Pantry, click here.

The Community Lifeline Center assists local residents manage short-term crisis and navigate their way back to self-sufficiency. With services ranging from financial assistance with rent, utilities, food and medical needs, they also provide counseling and advocacy services. To learn more about the Community Lifeline Center, click here.

Do you know a McKinney Foodie using their power for good? Want to tell their story? Drop me at line a michele@mckinneyfoodie.com 


Photos courtesy of Sonya Riley