With over 130 camp-specific donors each year, a big impact is made on girls’ lives in Iowa throughout the summer. Monetary donations and in-kind donations (like the ones made through our Amazon wish list) make up the largest portion of camp donations, but there are other unique ways that your donors help.
Take Mercedes-Benz of Des Moines for example. Last summer, they began a unique partnership with Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa.
“Our passion has always been to give back to our community as much as possible," said Cameron Denucce, Marketing Director of Mercedes-Benz. "After meeting and learning all of the great things GSGI does, we knew we wanted to provide support.”
And that’s just what they did – and continue to do. This year marks the second summer they have provided Sprinter shuttle vans as transportation for girls to get to camp.
The vans are used primarily for girls who participate in Girl Scouts through the outreach program, who truly would not otherwise be able to attend camp. This year, nearly 40 girls will attend camp thanks to this invaluable free transportation.
Jessie Tobin, Director of Philanthropy at GSGI and troop leader, has seen all aspects of this generous gift. “For these girls, it really is their first experience going to camp and it wouldn’t happen without Mercedes-Benz’s support,” she said.
“They’ve heard of camp, they’ve seen pictures of camp, but nothing is comparable to being there and doing it,” said Ngan Hoang, Assistant Director of Mission Outreach with GSGI.
And it’s not just the girls who feel the effect of the partnership; Mercedes-Benz does too.
“Words can’t describe how honored we are to be able to make a difference," said Denucce. "Knowing that we are directly impacting individual girls, reinsures us that we are spreading our support in a meaningful way.”
Mercedes-Benz’s support doesn’t just stop at the van rentals. They’re a generous supporter of GSGI year round.
“It was brought to our attention that some girls are not able to attend due to financial reasons. No child should be held back from a positive experience such as this and we knew a monetary donation was also necessary,” added Denucce.
Both Tobin and Hoang saw the impact first hand last summer when they each took a van of girls to camp.
“When I first told the group of girls in 2017 that they would be going to camp, they were so excited – but at least one girl was nervous because she didn’t have a swimsuit, another didn’t have bug spray and another didn’t have a towel to bring. That’s the reality many of these girls live with but the Mercedes-Benz partnership brought a day of happiness to their summer vacation…they have not stopped talking about it and can’t wait to return this year,” said Tobin.
“After completing a high jump on the ropes course, one girl said she felt like she could do anything now. Another girl always wanted to try paddle boarding and was able to have that opportunity to try it out at camp. Afterward, she decided it was something she liked,” said Hoang.
The partnership between GSGI and Mercedes-Benz of Des Moines is entering its second year, with the hope of expanding to reach more campers in future summers.
“There isn’t a dollar amount that you can put on life long memories, but it does sometimes take monetary support to help create them. We would encourage anyone interested in directly impacting local lives to donate in any way that they can – or even in creative ways, such as providing camp transportation,” said Denucce of Mercedes-Benz.
You can help support Girl Scouts this summer, too. Become a donor today.