Girl Scouts Craft Cards of Friendship

20150420_140509Girls Scouts from Troop No. 22789 came to the Friendship Circle this week, but they weren’t here to sell any cookies; rather, the 32 fourth-graders came to offer their friendship to children with special needs.

During their visit, the girls from Hartshorn Elementary in Short Hills created personalized birthday cards for Friendship Circle children and teens and got a firsthand tour of the upcoming “LifeTown” facility.

A 47,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art center being built in Livingston, LifeTown will have social, recreational and educational programs and will be open to the community at large and individuals with special needs. One of the cornerstones of the project will be “Life Village,” a working Main Street with shops, medical offices, a theater and more.IMG_0998

“We were looking for a community-based project [to be involved with] over the next two years, as the girls have been working since kindergarten to build their volunteering skills,” said Stacey Tavel, the mother of one of the Scouts.

And this one fit the bill, added fellow mom Lori Levine, because it was something the girls could easily related to.

As Levine explained, “We want them to accept everybody and make our world and community a better place. It’s a wonderful opportunity.”

“Everybody deserves to have a friend and to have someone care about them,” said 9-year-old Brielle Angelson. “And now that we are here, they will have even more friends.”

Added her classmate Caley Levine, “I think everybody should be treated like other people.”

Throughout the day, the girls peppered Friendship Circle organizers with questions about the organization and, IMG_1000especially, about LifeTown. Can we buy pets at the Life Village Pet Shop? (No, they will live there permanently and are not for sale.) How soon can we visit LifeTown? (Hopefully by next spring.) Can we really come back and play here? (Absolutely, yes!).

After they got a walking tour and heard how the building currently housing the Friendship Circle will be transformed into LifeTown, the Scouts got a real taste of the future when they put on Samsung Gear VR headsets and “wandered” around Life Village.

“That was really cool!” said one of the students her eyes wide as she took off the virtual reality glasses and told her mother “You have to try this!”

At which point, the mom, too, sat down on a chair, donned a pair of VR glasses and immersed herself in LifeTown.

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