Sibel Alabarda, 13, of Egg Harbor Township, and a member of Girl Scouts Troop 16263 working on her Girl Scouts Silver Award project, recently spearheaded a back to school campaign to help families with economic hardships.
Alabarda reached out to Amber Umphlett, supervisor of Atlantic County Healthy Families, Mindy Ruiz, ERSEA Associate from Gateway Head Start program, and Stephanie Weaver from Southern New Jersey Family Medical Center, who all work directly with families in need. The three agencies worked with the teen to start the ‘Quest for Kindness’ initiative on social media and created a school supply donation drive.
Frank Gilliam, supervisor for the Volunteers of America Impact team, answered the donation request by supplying 30 filled backpacks. Matt Batt, owner of Matt Blatt Kia, and sales representative Abigail Umphlett also collected backpacks at their Egg Harbor Township dealership. In total, Alabarda collected 86 backpacks, each filled with supplies for students in Atlantic County.
The Girl Scouts Silver Award is the highest achievement given to cadettes. According to Alabarda, although it would be an honor to receive such an award, her focus was on helping students get ready for the upcoming school year and making a positive impact in Atlantic County.