Cadette Girl Scouts deliver a silver lining during pandemic

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CRANFORD, NJ — The COVID-19 pandemic impacted many businesses and families in a variety of ways in the past 18 months. Through these trying times, many examples of community activism have been highlighted that show people’s willingness to help and serve. Between March and July 2021, two Cadette Girl Scouts from Troop 40051 in Cranford worked closely with Family Promise of Morris County and Family Promise of Union County to assist those severely impacted by the pandemic as part of its Silver Award project.

Cadettes Gianna Malecki and Bianca Romero said they felt strongly about helping hardworking families who suffered setbacks during the pandemic. Gianna and Bianca worked with Family Promise to create and deliver spring baskets to children who were in the shelter.

They also cooked and delivered meals to families in the shelter who were working hard to overcome their current situations.

“We were so excited to deliver the spring baskets knowing the children would have such a great surprise they could enjoy!” Gianna said.

The Silver Award is the highest honor a Cadette Girl Scout can receive. In order to achieve the honor, Cadettes identify an issue they care about, research it and take action. Cadettes, who are in sixth, seventh or eighth grade work solo or collaborate in small teams to earn the award and the projects require a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer work. At the time of their project, Gianna and Bianca were eighth-grade students at Hillside Avenue School in Cranford.

Their efforts also included involving younger Cranford Girl Scout troops with basket construction, meal preparation and writing happy messages on cards. This connection provided younger Girl Scouts with their own avenue to community service.

Nora Godown, congregation coordinator at Family Promise of Morris County, praised the project, saying, “Thank you, Gianna and Bianca, for all the effort and time put into the baskets. We appreciate it so much and our families are going to be thrilled. Thanks for bringing extra joy to so many families’ Easter this year.” Their efforts will be recognized during the 2022 Girl Scouts Awards, which are presented each spring.

The Girl Scouts of Cranford boasts more than 1,139 Girl Scout members in 71 troops and Juliettes, making it one of the largest nonprofit organizations in town. The Cranford Service Unit is a part of the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey Council, which is part of the Girl Scouts of the USA. To learn more, visit

Photos Courtesy of Girl Scouts of Cranford