Elizabeth Carr is a senior at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School and has made significant improvements to the facilities of a local homeless shelter, collected donations of supplies for the shelter, and set up a Web site to facilitate hotel donations to shelters throughout the Washington area. Elizabeth’s family had been helping the Salvation Army for many years, so when she began looking for a meaningful volunteer project, she contacted the Salvation Army’s Turning Point Center for Women and Children. “The people were so excited when I came in and said that I was going to help them,” she said. “I realized that my work would have an immediate impact on someone’s life.”
She recruited two fellow Girl Scouts to help her clean and organize the shelter’s storage room and design an inventory system. They also created a playroom and a library, cleared the yard and planted a garden. Then, realizing how many supplies the shelter needed, Elizabeth advertised in her neighborhood for donations, raised money to buy supplies, and threw a “shelter shower” to collect more items. She also secured a large quantity of linens and other items from Washington’s Willard Hotel, where she had worked as a summer intern. This led her to create a Web site to facilitate donations by other Washington-area hotels to local shelters. Finally, Elizabeth organized a network of 20 Girl Scout troops to help keep the Turning Point Center supplied on a year-round basis.