BROCKWAY – Girls from various Brockway area Girl Scout troops were invited to a Christmas party in December, and donations from that party helped support the Brockway area elementary school’s weekend backpack program.

Cadettes Troop 16360 hosted the party, according to Leigh Ann May, and the ticket donation was a food item.

“The girls gathered easy-to-prepare, non-perishable foods and brought them to the Christmas party on December 18,” May said. “The party was a huge success and a great way for Girl Scouts of all levels to come together enjoying snacks, crafts and of course meeting Mr. and Mrs. Clause.”

May estimates they filled 10 grocery bags with donations, which the girls took to the Brockway area primary school when classes resumed after the Christmas break. Since several troops were assembled, May said that almost every grade at Brockway had a representative. They gathered at the fountain by the main entrance of the elementary for a photo as they formally donated the food.

May said the Girl Scouts at Brockway are very busy and this donation is just one way the girls are giving back to their community.

“The Girl Scout troops at Brockway have several community projects planned,” she said. “All troops help with the monthly American Legion spaghetti dinners, and Cadette Troop 26103 is currently working on their Silver Awards. Two of those girls are working with the primary school on their Silver Award and the other two girls are working with a local church. Third grade Brownie Troop 16528 always does a park clean up at Taylor Memorial Park in the spring. All troops participate in the Memorial Day parade and present the wreath and some of our girls attend annual Wreaths across the United States. We will be doing another community drive in April where we will be asking the community to donate items for the backpack program and other programs in the district. Our Girl Scouts love their community and are always finding new ways to support it.”

May said all the troops started selling Girl Scout cookies this week.

Elementary school counselor Kristen Sholes said the donations were needed.

“The program in the elementary continues to be strong,” he said. “We have 30-35 weekend food bags going out every Friday to kindergarten through sixth grade students.”

Several families participate in the high school. High school counselors Heather Anderson and Jessi Donlin said they appreciate that Brockway students are able to help each other. They said the district is grateful for the way the community is helping those in need.

“It’s always inspiring to see young people helping other young people,” added Sholes. “It helps teach them the importance of empathy.”