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Members of Girl Scout Troop 10082 held a supply drive for the Valencia County Animal Shelter in Los Lunas and built a dog house-shaped donation box for others to leave donations as well.

LOS LUNAS — Girl Scout Troop 10082 is giving back to their community by helping the Valencia County Animal Shelter in Los Lunas get the pet supplies they need.

The girls, ranging from 9-11 years old, not only had a supply drive for the shelter, but also built a donation box for people to leave supplies in year-round.

This project is part of the girls’ Bronze Award Take Action Project. The Bronze Award is one of the three highest awards a Girl Scout can earn by creating a lasting impact in their community. Girls can earn this award when they are a Junior Girl Scout, which is the third level of Girl Scouts, composed of girls from the fourth and fifth grade.

“We have to do something that will last in the community, like by making a lasting donation. Right now, we are making a donation box for the animal shelter,” said Mia Garland, the president of the troop’s Bronze Award Committee and 11-year-old member of Troop 10082. “It’s so that people can donate after hours.

“A lot of the girls in our group have gone to the animal shelter and seeing the animals there with messy blankets and toys is sad so we wanted to make this donation box,” Garland said.

She and the nine other girls involved with the project came up with the idea on their own, creating and executing a plan with very little help from their troop leaders.

The girls conducted fundraising on their own, having a bake sale in front of Albertsons on Sept. 11 and asking local businesses for donations.

“The hardest part of this project was probably writing letters to RAKS and The Home Depot, that took a lot of effort. It was four (in the morning) when I finally finished writing them,” Garland said.

The donation box, which was built to resemble a dog house, contains shelves for storing the supply donations until they’re ready to be taken inside by the animal shelter. Its inaugural use was a supply drive the Girl Scouts hosted themselves, which took place on Sept. 22.

Now that the project is complete, the girls will attend a ceremony in Albuquerque for Girl Scouts who earned their Bronze or Silver Awards this year. The ceremony will recognize the accomplishments of the girls, and award them a pin they can wear on their uniform. The girls of Troop 10082, however, are just happy to give a community a helping hand.

“I just think that making a lasting impression on the community is going to shape our future,” Garland said, “I think it’s just an important thing to do.”

The donation box can be found just outside the doors to the Valencia County Animal Shelter in Los Lunas. They are accepting donations of food, grooming supplies, toys, treats, formula, and crates for dogs and cats, as well as cleaning supplies such as bleach, towels and paper towels.

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.