Girl Scouts partner with TDS to make a difference during COVID
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, organizations that traditionally delivered their programs and experiences in-person had to quickly pivot—including the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes. With help from a local company, TDS Telecom (TDS®), the Girl Scouts have been finding new ways to engage and support girls in the community.
“When things closed down because of COVID, we immediately started brainstorming how we could be there for girls and their families,” says Laura Martens, Fund Development Manager for Girl Scouts of Northwestern Great Lakes. “At Girl Scouts, we’re so passionate about making sure that girls who may be underserved are still connected to our organization—everyday, and especially during the pandemic. We’re incredibly grateful to community partners like TDS for helping us achieve that goal.”
When Girl Scouts could no longer safely meet in person, Girl Scout staff created and distributed hundreds of Care Kits. The kits included interactive activities and supplies so girls could stay engaged and still work on programs that were important to them. Kits also included items to support Girl Scouts and help them cope with pandemic stress.
“It’s important to break down barriers so people can connect, even if it’s not in person,” says Ashley Heil, associate manager of Field Marketing at TDS. “In addition to in-kind donations included in the kits, we also purchased Girl Scout cookies from girls to give to first responders and Honor Flight recipients in the Wausau area—after all, who doesn’t love Girl Scout cookies?”
TDS Telecom’s $5,000 donation also includes a scholarship for a Girl Scout facing financial barriers to participate in the 2022 Experience Panama destinations opportunity, as well as a large picnic table at Camp Birch Trails, a resident Girl Scout Camp located in Irma, Wisconsin.
“We’ve been able to able to return to some in-person programming, including inviting Girl Scouts back to summer camp,” says Martens. “We are very proud to conclude this year’s summer camp without a single case of COVID reported. We implemented rigorous safety protocols—and believe me, the extra seating TDS provided made a big impact at a time when we needed to give campers extra space to physically distance from one another.”
Whether in person or virtually, Girl Scouts are continuing their outreach efforts help girls from all backgrounds participate in their programs.
“I encourage other businesses to reach out and find creative ways to help give back,” says Heil. “You don’t need a big budget to have a big impact in your community.”
Companies interested in partnering with the Girl Scouts can reach out to Martens at 1-888-747-6945. Residents wanting to learn more about TDS products and services can visit tdstelecom.com or call 1-888-225-5837.