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Girl Scout without a troop does big things for Tampa Bay area foster kids

Gabriella Gillen made 50 "bedtime bags"
Posted at 3:33 AM, Mar 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-29 09:40:51-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- Gabriella Gillen is the only member of her Girl Scout troop. Yes, just her.

The 14-year-old Tampa girl is a Juliette Girl Scout. They are girls who are not affiliated with any troop or troop leader. It offers girls independence and flexibility

Despite being a one-woman show, Gillen is doing very big things for foster kids in the Tampa Bay area.

“I have two parents who love me so much, but these kids don’t have that,” Gillen says. 

On her own, Gillen put together 50 “bedtime bags” for the foster children at A Kid’s Place.

She worked with sponsors like the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning to get pajamas, books, pillows, socks and other “comfort” items into these special care packages.

The work got tough and the weather did not help her project. Hurricane Irma delayed her progress. In the end it took ten months and about 50 hours to complete all the bags. 

For her inspiring efforts, the Girls Scouts gave Gillen the coveted Silver Award.

The ultimate payoff was magical when she delivered the bags.

“I wanted to cry,” says Gillen. “Their faces just lit up. They were so happy.”

For more information on A Kid’s Place, visit: www.akidsplacetb.org.