Chandler Girl Scout’s opioid project earns Gold Award - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chandler Girl Scout’s opioid project earns Gold Award

May 11th, 2022 SanTan Sun News
Chandler Girl Scout’s opioid project earns Gold Award

By Justin Liggin

After seeing the impact of the opioid crisis firsthand upon losing her cousin to addiction, Chandler Girl Scout Megan Burke used her experience with this issue to fuel change in her community, earning a Gold Award for her tremendous efforts.

“Even though the opioid crisis is a major issue in many neighborhoods and communities, speaking about it is often shamed away. However, the truth is that drug addiction is a complex disease that affects the brain, therefore it needs to be spoken about,” said Megan.

When looking for ways to combat this issue and truly make a change with her Gold Award project, Megan discovered Hushabye Nursery, a center providing support groups, inpatient nursery services, and outpatient therapies to infants and mothers affected by opioids.

“Women who become pregnant while using opioids are typically prescribed opiates throughout their pregnancies due to the risk of prenatal withdrawal and miscarriage,” said Megan. “This causes their babies to be born into an opiate-dependent state known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome which requires a detoxification process in the days following birth.”

Through her collaboration with Hushabye Nursery, Megan was able to hold donation drives across the community in addition to building and organizing donation closets, where moms are able to shop. Megan also worked to help Hushabye Nursery become one of the National Charity League’s official philanthropies to hold yearly donation drives to.

Megan’s involvement with Hushabye Nursery has already seen results that are sure to be sustained long beyond the completion of her Gold Award project.

“Hushabye Nursery will now constantly receive volunteers, new donations, and information because there was a unanimous vote to pass Hushabye Nursery as a new philanthropy charity,” said Megan. “The donation closet also inspired more mothers to sign up for classes at the nursery.”

Megan’s project not only made an immense impact on the community and guaranteed positive change for years to come, but also gave her essential life skills to help her find further success in the future.

“I have learned how important leadership skills are while working with members of the community. I also learned how to clearly communicate through emails and phone calls to keep my volunteers organized and engaged on projects like the diaper drive that I started,” said Megan.

A Girl Scout of 11 years, Megan credits Girl Scouts with providing her with leadership experience and necessary skills to work with others.

“The time I have spent with Girl Scouts has taught me how to work with my community. Through encampments, events, and collaborations I have been able to connect with others, make a difference, and even earn some badges!”

As a Gold Award recipient, Megan joins other fellow Girl Scouts as a true changemaker in society. Awarded to girls who discover sustainable solutions in their community, the Gold Award is a national symbol of leadership and can stand out in college admissions, scholarships applications, and much more.

A current student at Hamilton High School in Chandler, Megan would one day love to have a career in politics; a field that she feels prepared for after working in the community to become a Girl Scout Gold Awardee.

“After this experience, I can complete any job or challenge thrown at me with my strong teamwork skills. I am truly thankful for Girl Scouts and the opportunities and experiences I’ve been given,” said Megan.