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Girls Reaching Out (GRO.) continues mission to bring clean water to African school children

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A new group of girls are GROing in the village. Eleven 6th graders from Kohler Middle School are continuing what GRO. Seniors have started. Girls Reaching Out (GRO.) is a non-profit organization started in 2015 by Bridget Bullard, Asha Edgerle, Mary Madigan, Jordyn Schipper and Marcella Senti to bring clean water to African school children.

Mary Grace Boland, Claire Brotz, Charlotte Bullard, Delaney Drevline, Riley Holzrichter, Abbey Janssen, Kennadi Kehoe, Sophia Kwacz, Ella Loest, Melanie Pellegrino and Rebecca Shvartsman started junior GRO. Girls on September 28th. They did a simulation activity based on the wells that the previous GRO Girls donated. They walked down a trail and collect water from Woodlake in buckets. After carrying the water back, they got to see how dirty the water was and how fortunate they are to have clean filtered water to drink.

To teach the girls about how to notice where help is needed in the community, the Juniors voted on several different local charities to help this year. On November 11th, the junior GRO. Girls accomplished their first official donation to the community by delivering handmade dog and cat toys to the Sheboygan County Humane Society. The GRO Girls were given a tour and got to meet the pets they were donating to.

In December, the girls went caroling to raise money for Shop With a Cop. Around the holidays, less fortunate children in Sheboygan County get to go shopping at Target with a police officer in Sheboygan County. “We are all human and we need to help each other out,” said Ella Loest. Thanks to all of the very generous neighbors, GRO. presented a check for $178 in January to Sheboygan County Sheriff Cory Roeseler. He said that their program has been going on for over 20 years and it will help two kids next December.

Recently, the sixth graders joined the Senior GRO. girls at St. John the Evangelist and Blessed Trinity churches. GRO. was honored to be selected as the recipient of this year’s Lenten donations. The troop made tri-fold boards showing the 11 wells built to date and the history of the group for display in each of the lobbies. “It was a great learning experience for us to tell everyone about GRO. and answer people’s questions,” said Claire Brotz. The funds from this project will go directly to St. Peter’s Dickson Primary School near Lilongwe, Malawi. Their priest Fr. Michael Chimvalenji wrote in a letter, “the five villages (surrounding the school) has quite a big problem of water; there is no borehole, only a small river and a few wells where the quality of water is not good.” Charlotte Bullard said, “if we can raise the full amount and build St. Peter’s well by Spring, then my sister and the seniors will get to see it in person this summer.” The seniors are planning a mission trip this June to visit the well sites, test water quality and meet the villagers.

It has been a great start to the year. ”I enjoy interacting with other people who want to help people who are less fortunate. I believe that it is important that we do our best to help others and to inspire people to help other people,” said Mary Grace Boland.

To learn more, check out girlsreachingout.wixsite.com/growithus or email girls.reaching.out@gmail.com. 501c3 donation checks may be payable to Lakeland University Malawi GRO. Well Project (or GRO. Malawi Mission Trip if you prefer) Attn: Jackie Flesch W3718 South Drive Plymouth, WI 53073. A 501c3 status donation receipt will be mailed in return.

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