NOTE TO READERS—Even if you are not connected with the 10 million Girl Scouts and Girl Guides in 150 countries, you can connect with Brenda Rosenberg’s transformative work with the girls right now by getting her book: Reuniting the Children of Abraham. That book is available from Amazon, also Barnes & Noble as well as our Front Edge Publishing bookstore. Want the background story on this global effort? The remarkable story of the book’s Girl-Scout-co-sponsored launch at the Detroit Institute of Arts was our cover story in January.
By BRENDA ROSENBERG
Author of Reuniting the Children of Abraham
As a liaison to the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, my mission is to showcase stories of Girl Scouts as go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, leaders, barrier-breakers, relationship builders and creative catalysts for change. We take strength in knowing that our stories here in Michigan are connected with the global network of 10 million Girl Scouts and Girl Guides in 150 countries.
Right now, our young women are stepping up—while modeling a healthy safe distance—to help in many ways with the COVID-19 response. They are making masks—and sharing patterns and educational help for other mask makers. They are building new virtual networks to combat one of the most dangerous effects of COVID-19: social isolation and the anxieties that can grow into dangerous fears.
I am so proud of these young women that I want to highlight several of them this week.
But, wait—there’s more!
At the end of this column, I’m going to share a music video that has guided and uplifted me in all the educational and community-service work I am doing during this worldwide pandemic.
First, I want all of the ReadTheSpirit readers to meet a young woman who inspires me with her courage and compassion: Hannah Richard, a senior at Troy High School in southeast Michigan.
I’m Hannah Richard. This fall, I will be attending the University of Alabama to study aerospace engineering, which has been my dream since I was little. I have always wanted to build rockets and work with NASA and one day help us go to Mars. I also love to play many instruments. My biggest achievement is playing on Carnegie Hall stage with the upright string bass and playing throughout New York on the piano. I am an athlete. I am a three-time state champion synchronized swimmer, and was on a league-winning swim team.
Most importantly, I have been in Girl Scouts for over 13 years and have earned all of my awards, including my Gold Award for a project I created called: The Three R’s. You can see my presentation about this public-safety project online. The goal of Relax, Respect, Respond is to educate young people, especially new drivers, the proper protocol when being pulled over by law enforcement during a traffic stop. The program also builds positive new relationships between law enforcement and the community.
‘Girl Scouts Is My Life’
I tell people: “Girl Scouts is my life. I have been traveling, camping, volunteering with my sisters and it is the most fun I’ve ever had. It has helped me grow into this person who loves to help, is caring and wants to explore.”
The ninth law of Girl Scouts teaches us to make the world a better place. During this time of coronavirus we have seen people come together to support and show love to one another.
Praying for those who are sick or on the frontlines.
Helping those around us to process the anxieties rising all around us—and, together, to create positive understanding of what seems unimaginable.
Imagine if this could not only happen during this time with the coronavirus—but everyday.
Imagine people coming together and praying, helping, showing love and support. Coronavirus is a pause in our time, where we now have time to help and see the world.
I am a high school senior who, at first, thought of coronavirus mainly as ruining my senior year, destroying my spring-break travel plans and scaring me about my own well being and the safety of others.
Then, as I focused on that ninth law of Girl Scouts, I began to reach out to people who—if the virus had never struck—I might never have met.
My RRR project actually continues! Before COVID-19, I had presented the project to my Girl Scout community, to my school and with police stations and students from Detroit. I have also been able to present the program to two troops of Boy Scouts. The first group had such an enthusiastic response that they wanted me to present again to more of their fellow scouts. I was so pleased that, as a Girl Scout, I could present to Boy Scouts and receive such a wonderful, encouraging response.
Now I want to develop new projects—especially discovering a cure for what may be the world’s most dangerous infection: the hatred that fuels fear and violence.
Wouldn’t you want to be part of such such a cure?
What change can you spark in those around you?
What can you do to make this world just a little better place?
Do you doubt your own power? Well, let me introduce you to two more Girl Scouts who didn’t let COVID-19 stop them for a moment!
Anna Lisa’s and Kayla’s Story
Anna Lisa Grunewald and Kayla Achenbach are middle school students at Holy Family Regional School in Rochester Hills. They’ve been working on their Girl Scout Silver Award Project.
These girls have always enjoyed sewing. Now, their goal is to serve our community by leading peers as an example through this pandemic. They are helping to educate by developing a series of “how to” videos for making items needed in the community and for public safety efforts.
As a result of the virus they meet on the phone and on Zoom. Together, they are personally making 100 masks for our community as a part of their Silver Award Project.
And then, the Video: ‘One Heart’
This is Brenda again!
Even in the midst of the terrible pandemic, 4 billion Jews, Christians and Muslims shared a historic moment—a moment in the world’s religious history that we have never seen before. All three Abrahamic faiths have celebrated major observances—Passover, Easter and Ramadan—without the ability to gather in person. That has sparked enormous creativity and compassion among all of us, as individuals, families and communities.
One of my contributions to the online sharing of hopeful inspiration is a music video: “One Heart,” which was written and is sung for us by Katrina Connor. The piece was created for the original Children of Abraham media toolkit for peace. With Katrina’s help, I am sharing this song far and wide as part of my renewed effort to teach about the potential of Reuniting the Children of Abraham.
Who is Katrina Connor? You may know her under her professional name: Kat Solar (www.KatSolar.com). She is a New York City-based singer songwriter. She grew up in Detroit where her earliest memories were of dancing to her parents’ early rock and roll, classic soul and Motown. Solar’s song Infinity spent two months on the Billboard charts and reached the Top 20 on The Billboard Dance Chart for two weeks in a row.
What does this song mean to me?
Scientists tell us that, if two heart cells are placed together in a petri dish, they will find and maintain a common beat. I think that biological phenomenon points to a basic truth about relationships. Beneath all of our resistance, beneath all of our fear and hatred, the very nature of life itself rests on a joining force.
Too often in our world today, we exhaust ourselves fighting against this impulse to join together. When we allow our hearts to beat in unison, we renew our strength and we summon peace.
We are one ONE HEART.
As Jews, Christians and Muslims, we can be the change we want to see in our world.
You also can visit YouTube for this video, where you will find links to share it with friends.