Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO) congratulates Gold Award Girl Scout and Girl Scout Ambassador, Elisabeth Lendal, for receiving the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award from The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Greater Cleveland Chapter. Elisabeth received this award for her dedication to service and philanthropic support in her community and was honored at AFP’s 2020 National Philanthropy Day ceremony, which was held virtually on November 6.
Elisabeth was nominated for this award by Julie Weagraff, Vice President, Fund Development at GSNEO, who recognized Elisabeth as a role model for youth who want to make a philanthropic impact and for her commitment to giving back to her community.
“Elisabeth is one of our girls of courage, confidence, and character, and is a great representative of the 23,000 girls we have in the Girl Scout program in Northeast Ohio,” said GSNEO Chief Executive Officer Jane Christyson. “She’s the kind of person who sees a need in the community, figures out the solution, and goes in and makes that happen. She is a shining example of what a Girl Scout can do.”
Elisabeth has provided unwavering service and philanthropic support to the nonprofit organization Community Resource Services (CRS), whose mission is to diminish the effects of poverty in Avon and Avon Lake. For her Gold Award project, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, Elisabeth collected spice bottles and created a cookbook for CRS clients featuring commonly donated food items. She also improved the CRS website by developing a “client page” and, with volunteers recruited from her French class, Elisabeth made 24 Soup-in-a-Jars for CRS clients. Elisabeth has made her cookbook available to more than 100 food banks in the US and Canada for their clients to enjoy. Even after earning her Gold Award, she has continued her involvement with CRS fundraisers; including collecting and donating over 5,000 hygiene products for clients.
Elisabeth was elected as the youngest board member of the CRS Board of Directors in recognition of her outstanding commitment. In the last year alone, she has helped organize and support several fundraising events for CRS, from their largest fundraiser (the Pearl Gala), which raised over $75,000, to several local races (Homeruns for Hunger), and a food collection event (SOUPer Bowl).
Elisabeth has been a Girl Scout for 10 years and has always enjoyed giving back to the community.
“What I did not realize when I started volunteering was the impact it would have back on me,” said Elisabeth in her recipient speech at AFP’s 2020 Philanthropy Day event. “My sole purpose is to help others in my community. I’m only 17 years old, yet I know that I have bettered my community. I don’t know what my future will hold, but I know that I will continue to change the world one hygiene product and spice bottle at a time.”
Elisabeth was previously recognized for her ongoing commitment to the community by GSNEO in May 2019, when she was awarded the Leader of Tomorrow Scholarship at our annual Women of Distinction event. In September 2020, the Lorain County Section of the National Council of Negro Women awarded Elisabeth the Trailblazer’s Award for her perseverance in improving the lives of families in her community.
Elisabeth closed her acceptance speech with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
To watch the AFP Virtual Philanthropy Day event, visit https://youtu.be/EPF8KDe7HNc.