ALTON — Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois Troop 130 helped seniors throughout the Riverbend by donating boxes of cookies to Meals on Wheels programs through their annual Gift of Caring program.
For the eighth consecutive year, Troop 130 is taking part in the Gift of Caring program led by troop leaders Jennifer Melton and Carmen Noack. Each year the troop’s parents make suggestions of local nonprofits that they would potentially like to donate to. They explain what each organization does and the girls vote on who they want to share with. This year the troop chose Senior Services Plus’ Meals on Wheels in Alton.
“Most of the recipients are shut-ins,” Melton said. “A lot of them don’t have much family involvement or anyone around to help take care of them. They may not get the chance to have some of the cookies otherwise, so the girls wanted to donate the boxes to them to help brighten their day.”
Senior Services Plus is home to the area’s Meals on Wheels program, which helps low-income and at-risk seniors who rely on the program for 33 percent of their daily nutrition and allows them to keep living in their homes. In January, SSP announced it had to cut 40 percent of deliveries for the program because of the Illinois budget impasse.
Troop 130 consists of 23 girls ranging from second to seventh grade from Wood River, Roxana, East Alton, Hartford, Alton, Edwardsville and Troy. The troop is collecting donations and cookie sales until March through personal sales and table booths at locations throughout the area. For information on how to donate or to make purchase, contact Jennifer Melton at (618) 420-1515 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SSP is a nonprofit United Way agency established to help enrich the lives of older adults through programs and services that encourage independent living and provide opportunities and resources to individuals as they age. The organization serves residents of Madison and St. Clair counties in Illinois and in St. Louis city and county. For information, visit www.seniorservicesplus.org or call (618) 465-3298.