side menu icon
As Girl Scouts, we have a responsibility to do our part to reduce community spread of COVID-19. To help facilitate this process and build this important new life skill for girls and adults, we’ve developed COVID-19 Checklists.

Read the full COVID-19 Update »
younger-girls-cupcakes-banner

Community Service

Are you looking for a way to enrich your girl scout experience and give back to your community? Check out these amazing organizations and the volunteer opportunities they're providing!

Looking for inspiration? From card making to food bank, Fun Patches are the perfect way to spark a community service project!  

National Service Projects

Letter-Writing Service Project

The idea is simple: girls write letters to people in nursing homes, senior residences, and assisted living facilities, including the dedicated staff and caregivers. This long-distance hug is a way to share your good thoughts with these vulnerable and loved community members.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Ask your girls (and their friends!) to write letters to senior and caretakers using our tips (PDF).
  2. You can mail letters to one of the facilities (PDF) or reach out to a local assisted living center and find out how they would like to receive your troop’s letters. You could collect and deliver them (using no-contact practices), have girls mail them individually, or even deliver them via email. Don’t forget to include a note to tell the staff about the letters you’re sending (DOC).
  3. Take a picture of your letter packet and post it to your social media networks using #GirlScoutsGiveBack (and be sure to tag us @girlscouts).
  4. Don't forget to come back here and log the number of letters to add them to the national campaign! Let’s see how many letters of love and care our Movement can send!
  5. If you wish to recognize your troop’s participation with a patch, we recommend this community service patch

 Check out some more detailed guidance (PDF).


Mask Making 

Now, with this nationwide mask-making campaign, all girls have the chance to step up to help their friends, neighbors, and frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. And we’ve partnered with Feeding America, a network of local food banks across the U.S., to make it easy for your girls to amplify their efforts.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Ask your girls (and their friends!) to make masks for adults and kids. Use the instructions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If your troop chooses to make masks for other kids, use 7.5” x 9” cloth instead.
  2. When you are ready to send your masks, you can include a letter like this (PDF).
  3. You can safely distribute masks where you see the greatest need in your community (check out these ideas). Through our partnership with Feeding America, your troop can easily donate (PDF) masks to your local food bank staff and families that rely on food bank services.
  4. Inspire others to give back! Snap a photo of your troop’s masks and post to your social networks using the hashtag #GirlScoutsGiveBack. Be sure to tag @girlscouts too!
  5. Don’t forget to come back and log the number of masks you made!
  6. If you wish to recognize your troop’s participation with a patch, we recommend this Girl Scouts Give Back patch.

 Check out some more detailed guidance (PDF).


Girl Scouts Give Back: Citizen Science 

How can you play a part in solving some of the biggest problems facing our planet? Enter citizen science, where volunteers help scientists collect data for their studies and experiments. Anyone can be a citizen scientist—all you need is curiosity and a willingness to help! 

This summer, your troop can contribute to important scientific research by participating in one of our Girl Scouts Give Back citizen science projects. We’ve partnered with SciStarter, an online citizen science community, to help get you going!

Here’s how your troop can make a difference: 

  1. Choose either the Great Sunflower Project (for girls of all ages) or the Globe at Night project (for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors) to create an account for your troop on SciStarter
  2. Read the project’s instructions on your SciStarter dashboard and gather the needed tools and materials.
  3. Collect data for the project using the recommended tools and materials, and log the data using your SciStarter dashboard.
  4. Snap a photo of your troop’s work and share on social media using #GirlScoutsGiveBack (be sure to tag @girlscouts). Don’t forget to add your project to be counted as participating in our national service projects.
  5. If you wish to recognize your troop’s participation with a patch, we recommend the Girl Scouts Give Back patch. 

Want to learn more about citizen science? For a limited time only, you can download all activity instructions and the Take Action Guide for the Think Like a Citizen Scientist Journey for free from the Girl Scout Shop! 


National Civic Action: Promote the Vote 

Since Girl Scouts’ founding in 1912, our members have created lasting, positive change through advocacy and civic action. And though some girls may be too young to cast a ballot, they can still mobilize their communities to take action like a Girl Scout.

As we mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which removed the gender restriction to voting, Girl Scouts is launching a national “Promote the Vote” initiative to engage Girl Scout troops in the democratic process.

Voting is arguably our most important civic duty—but barriers still exist. In many parts of the country, voting laws and protocols make it difficult for many people, especially people of color, to cast their votes in local and federal elections. In other words, there’s work to be done—and girls can play a part!

We all have a role in helping people exercise their right to participate in the democratic process, including in this challenging time of COVID-19.

Here’s how your Girl Scout troop can promote the vote:

  1. Discuss the importance of voting. Lead your girls in a conversation (PDF) about why voting is essential and the power they have to increase access to the vote and to encourage others to vote, even if they are too young to vote themselves. (Hint: your troop could earn one of our new Democracy badges in the process!)
  2. Make a plan and set a goal. With your girls, decide which action(s) you’ll take to encourage people to register to vote and make a plan to vote, and how many people you’ll reach out to. There are so many ways your girls can share key information (PDF) and get the word out! Senior and Ambassador troops can register (or pre-register) to vote and make plans to cast their ballots together!
  3. Share your story on social media. Research shows that if you persuade one person to vote, they’ll likely influence at least one additional friend or family member to vote too! If you use social to educate and inspire others to vote, be sure to tag us using @girlscouts.
  4. Complete our survey so your troop’s impact can be counted in our national service projects.
  5. Encourage your girls’ ongoing civic engagement through working to earn our new Democracy badges and using GSUSA’s suffrage toolkit.

For more voting resources, check out:

 Check out more detailed guidance:

African Library Project
African Library Project

The African Library Project changes lives book by book by starting libraries in rural Africa. Our grassroots approach mobilizes U.S. volunteers, young and old, to organize book drives and ship books to start or improve a library in Africa. Our method makes a concrete and personal difference for children and communities on both continents.

Troops can organize their own drives and get excited about expanding literacy in their own communities as well! 

In the United States, volunteers collect, sort, and pack gently-used children's books to ship to specific African communities.

In Africa, ALP partners range from Peace Corps volunteers to school administrators. They receive the books and organize them into libraries to serve local African communities. Along the way, the U.S. donors learn about Africa and develop closer connections to the people in the recipient communities.

Bay Area Pet Fair
Pet Food Express

Every year, Pet Food Express hosts the Bay Area Pet Fair in the Bay Area! The pet fair will feature more than 2000+ adoptable animals from California pet rescues and shelters including dogs, cats, bunnies small animals and more

Volunteer a couple of hours to help raise awareness about the need to adopt and help homeless animals. It's a great way to help and have fun at the same time. Thanks to all that participated in 2019 pet fair. Bay Area Pet Fair 2020 dates coming soon.

Volunteering with PFE is a purrfect trip for Daisies to enhance your 3 CHEERS FOR ANIMALS journey, Bird Bath or Red Robin award, and even spark ideas for your Tula Take Action award. Brownies can also work on their Pet badges! 

One Warm Coat
one-warm-coat

One Warm Coat is a national non-profit organization that works to provide a free, warm coat to any person in need. One Warm Coat supports individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country by providing the tools and resources needed to hold a successful coat drive. Coats are distributed in the communities where they were collected, to children and adults in need, without charge, discrimination or obligation. Since One Warm Coat's inception in 1992, we have worked with our volunteers to host more than 34,000 coat drives and have given away more than 6 million coats.

Everyone needs to stay warm and you and your troop can collect coats to give to those in need. If you are looking for flexible way to volunteer, Girl Scouts of Northern California and One Warm Coat would love your help! 

Girl Scout households may meet for outdoor Girl Scout activities, provided the household follows all GSNorCal COVID-19 guidelines.

You can put together a drive any time of the year, find information on how to hold your own coat drive! One Warm Coat works with your troop's schedule and location to connect your troop to a non-profit who will get your donations straight to people who need them.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions the following One Warm Coat 2020 activities have been cancelled:

  • KTVU and One Warm Coat's Annual Black Friday Kick-Off Drive 
  • Annual November GSNorCal all-council office and shop collective drive

Don't forget you can purchase One Warm Coat patches at the GSNorCal stores and online.

Save the Bay
save-the-bay

We all need a healthy San Francisco Bay. Seven million Bay Area residents, 400 native species, our economy, and quality of life all depend on it. 

As the heart and lungs of the Bay, wetlands improve water quality, protect our communities from flooding, support thousands of jobs, provide open space for recreation, and capture and store carbon.

Join Save The Bay to help restore wetlands for a healthier San Francisco Bay!

Volunteering dates can be found here.

SF-Marin Food Bank
Basic CMYK

The SF-Marin Food Bank distributes the equivalent of 110,000 meals worth of food every day in service of our 1 in 5 neighbors experiencing hunger.

Each year, we partner with our friends at Safeway and NBC Bay Area on a holiday food drive. Since 2013, these drives have brought in over 45,000 grocery bags packed full of our highest need items (peanut butter, canned tuna, etc.) allowing us to provide this food to our neighbors.

For questions and to sign up, contact Cody Jang at cjang@sfmfoodbank.org or 415-282-1907, x316. 


Are you an organization that wants to share your Community Service opportunities with Girl Scouts? We'd love to hear from you! Please fill out the Partners Interest Form or contact partners@gsnorcal.org.