Be the change: PROUDgirls help sick kids through surgery

Have you ever wanted to make a difference, but just haven’t known how? PROUDgirls, an organization dedicated to helping tweens and teens live big and give big, is helping girls do just that by supporting groups as they plan and execute community service projects.

This spring, PROUDgirls hosted the Be The Change contest. They encouraged groups to submit videos and blog entries detailing their best “gives” or community service projects in an effort to win fab prizes and take home the top prize.

Who came in first? Team Bay Shore! Group members Alyssa Gravina, Maggie Berke, Camille Warner, Sara Viola, Priscilla Russo and Jaqueline Ulrich decided to make surgi-dolls that they would donate to a local hospital. The dolls are used by doctors and nurses to help kids getting surgery better understand their procedures.

Take a peek at their winning video…

We talked to Alyssa about the whole process. Read on to hear about these so PROUDgirls and their awesome service project. It’s time to get inspired and be the change, babes!

GL: How do you and your team know each other? How did you get together for the competition?

Alyssa Gravina: We’ve been in the same classes for years so we’ve known each other a long time. My friend Pricilla, who’s part of PROUDgirls, told us about it. We’ve done community service all separately since most of us are in the service honors society, and we figured it might be fun to do it all as a group since we’re doing it on our own anyways.

Why did you decide to make the surgi-dolls?

We had been talking about a bunch of different things, and we thought this was a really good idea because it would impact the lives if children directly and it would only take a few days [to do].

Has anyone in your group had surgery as a child?

I had surgery on my back last summer, and when the idea was brought up, I thought it was cool because as a teenager, I was so scared when I went into surgery. You can imagine how little kids feel!

Did you have fun while you were making the dolls?

Yeah. We were all trying to learn how to use the sewing machine and in the end I was the only one who learned, sort of, how to use it. We had a lot of fun dressing the dolls, and picking our favorite ones, and just playing around with them.

Why didn’t you decide to simply raise money?
We wanted to do something different. When we try and raise money, we have to ask the same people. We usually ask friends and family. If we have a ‘give’ and raise the money, for the next ‘give’ we have to ask them over again and go back to the same people.

Will you keep making the dolls?
Definitely! It’s really fun to work with friends and do something helpful. We [now] make the dolls on our own time because [for PROUDgirls On the Move] it has to be a new project every month. We brainstorm ideas and have a few meetings each month and by the end of the month we have to have completed one ‘give.’

So what are you guys doing for your next give?
We thought instead of asking for money we could get people to collect old used books.

What advice do you have for girls who want to volunteer?
A lot of people think it’s so time consuming and that it’s so much work to get involved, but once you do it, it really pays off!

Want to learn more about PROUDgirls On the Move? CLICK HERE!

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by Jillian Zacchia | 2/1/2016