CAMPTON — As the opioid crisis took hold in New Hampshire, one Girl Scout saw first-hand its impact on her community. Katherine Legier of Campton decided to address the need to help those trying to recover from addiction with her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Recovery in Action.
Legier wanted to bring the community together in a safe and positive way, and hoped to erase some of the stigma that comes with being in recovery. She worked with White Mountain Recovery Homes in Littleton and Plymouth, helping Keith and Tara Anderson to open and furnish three locations of sober houses for men over the past year, as well as with Crossroads Church to establish a drop-off box to collect items for care packages for the residents at the homes. She also organized a public forum in Plymouth in June to educate the community on how widespread the issue of opioid addiction is. She earned her Gold Award on Oct. 10, embodying the G.I.R.L. (Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader)™ philosophy.
“She’s gone above and beyond,” said Keith Anderson. “She helped us with furniture donations — literally brought things to the different locations. She’s just been amazing.”
He noted that Legier donated new bedding and towels, a love seat, and other furniture, along with bringing food to make Saturday dinners at one of the houses, where she would share fellowship with the men in recovery.
“I learned a lot about how important it is to form connections with people,” Legier said in her Gold Award final report. “I learned a lot about what it takes to be a leader and to encourage others to lead when necessary, as well.”
“For her ongoing part, she came up with welcome packages for these guys, who have nothing,” said Tara Anderson. “She came up with the idea of keeping a box at church — towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, razors, information, and more, wrapped in a towel.”
Crossroad Church will continue the collection of items and creation of welcome packages as part of the requirement that the Gold Award project be sustainable for at least three years.
She also publicized the need for donations on Facebook, and collected sheets, kitchenware, pillows, lamps, chairs, tables, and even a rocking chair. As Legier noted in her Gold Award report, the people who benefitted most from the donations were the individuals who were waiting for a place to begin their recovery. Without the rooms at White Mountain Recovery Homes, they could spend months trying to find a living community focused on recovery.
Simply helping people with recovery doesn’t address the root cause of the problem, however, so she organized a panel discussion at the Plymouth Regional Senior Center on June 27.
“She’s a really shy girl,” said Tara Anderson, “so to see her open up and have to speak in front of groups of people — I know it took a lot for her to do that.”
Legier said she thought the forum was the most successful part of her Gold Award project. “The people that attended the forum came from so many different backgrounds. Some were very educated and passionate about the topic, while some weren’t as aware of just how widespread the issue really is. I also think it was successful because, after the forum, I noticed many connections were being made between people that attended and the forum speakers.
Katherine Legier exemplifies the Girl Scout difference, taking on the difficult issue of addiction and recovery, and leaving a legacy that will help people in her community for years to come. Being a Gold Award Girl Scout a future-focused 21st century experience, and is one of the most prestigious recognitions she’ll accomplish in life. Gold Award Girl Scouts may earn college scholarships, and may enter the military at a higher rank.