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Local Girl Scouts brighten lives of many elderly people in Thomson

Dozens of Girl Scouts gathered this past Saturday to make Christmas a little brighter for the residents of Thomson Manor Nursing Home.

The scouts made Christmas gift bags for the residents.

"This is our way of helping to brighten their Christmas a little bit and to let them know that our community hasn't forgotten them," said Michelle Collins, who heads the McDuffie County Girl Scout Community Program. "Doing this for all of those senior citizens there really gives us all a great feeling."

This year marks the third consecutive year that local Girl Scouts have presented gifts to clients at the nursing home, located off Mt. Pleasant Road in Thomson. The seven Girl Scout troops participating included: 401, 324, 7802, 7181, 717, 749 and 112.

Dozens of Girl Scouts congregated at Springfield Baptist Church early Saturday to begin the process of packaging such gifts as socks, small packs of Kleenex, lotion and a comb. The gift bags later were presented to 141 clients at the nursing home. Aside from the gift bags, a large assortment of sugar-free candy also was presented. The candy will be distributed to the clients by nursing home personnel.

"This is a way of us teaching local Girl Scouts the importance of different values in life and the importance of appreciating our elders in our community," said Ms. Collins. "It's important to let our elders know that we appreciate them and respect them for all of their knowledge, wisdom and contributions to society."

It's actually a Godly act of generosity, she added.

"I love seeing the reaction on the faces of those who receive the gift bags at the nursing home," said Eileen Pin, of Dearing, who serves as a troop leader. "I just love being a part of it."

Mary Cummings, of Thomson, feels the same way.

"Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, because it's the birth of our Savior," said Ms. Cummings, who is sharing with her 9-year-old granddaughter, Alexis Pinkston, the importance of giving to others this time of the year. "I think it teaches these girls a lot of good values about life."

Linda Robles, of Thomson, another troop leader, feels a personal blessing from the gift giving program.

"It makes you feel great to know that you're lifting the spirits of others here at Christmas," said Mrs. Robles. "It really teaches these girls a sense of responsibility in another valuable way - one of caring about others - even those they don't know."

Her daughter, Jessica Robles, 11, who attends Norris Elementary School, is just one of the scouts learning such a lesson.

"It makes you feel good to do nice things for other people," said Jessica.

Web posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007

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