Girl Scout throws birthday party for homeless kids
by Andrew Shilling
Jul 31, 2013 | 839 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jessica Eng with Councilman Peter Koo at his office in Flushing showcasing the Birthday in a Box donation container.
Jessica Eng with Councilman Peter Koo at his office in Flushing showcasing the Birthday in a Box donation container.
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Girl Scouts of America Gold Award hopeful Jessica Eng, 16, has teamed up with Councilman Peter Koo and Volunteers of America to give children without homes and victims of domestic abuse a birthday party they will never forget.

Together, they are focused on the Birthday in a Box fundraiser with her Troop 4-772, asking residents to drop off birthday supplies like party hats, decorations, utensils and gifts for children, such as gift cards, toys, games, books and cash donations.

“The problem I saw in my community, meaning my school and my friends, was self-esteem,” Eng said. “There is low self-esteem and people are suffering from that and I wanted to help.”

All supplies donated to the Birthday in a Box fundraiser will be distributed to homeless shelters around the community to provide monthly birthday parties to those in need.

Girl Scouts striving for the prestigious Gold Award are asked to focus on a community issue and volunteer 80 hours of their time. Eng has already logged 60 hours towards the medal.

“I encourage people in our community to help Jessica achieve the Gold Award,” Koo said. “We can help do some good for our community.”

Eng first joined the Girl Scouts when she was in the first grade after a friend invited her to join her troop. Today, she has received top honors with Bronze and Silver awards and is now shooting for Gold as she heads into her 11th year with the organization.

In 5th grade, Eng worked with her troop to complete the Bronze Award for their community service at the Ronald McDonald House.

She dedicated nearly 50 hours with the Red Cross and raised more than $2,000 for the survivors of the earthquake in Haiti through a walk-a-thon, earning her Silver Award.

Eng has just been certified as a camp counselor and she has worked with her troop at senior citizen homes over the holidays, the Toys for Tots program and previously helped set up a coat drive for the needy.

“I thought that she was only going to join to do arts and crafts, but who knew that she’d still be here 10 years later, still doing this,” said Eng’s mother, Ellen Wong. “Who knew this would turn out to be such a dedicated commitment for her.”

To donate supplies, contact Jessica Eng at (jessicaeng26@gmail.com) or drop off at collection boxes located at Councilman Koo’s district office, located at 135-27 38th Avenue in Flushing, or at Immanuel Lutheran School, located at 12-10 150th Street in Whitestone, on Fridays from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

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