Girl Scouts Scarlett Fallscher (left) and Elsa Witkiewicz, who are from two different troops, teamed up to create gifts for girls from the ages of 12 to 17 who are going to a foster care home.

Girl Scouts team up to help girls in foster homes

By Gail Peckler-Dziki

Elsa Witkiewicz and Scarlett Fallscher have teamed up to create Beauty and Bravery bags for 12 to 17 year-old-girls in the foster care system.

There is a legacy running through Elsa’s family – started by her grandmother, Irm Hess – of helping girls in need of a family.

“In 1984,” Irm remembers, “my husband Phil and I spoke to someone in social services about taking in young girls in pregnancy crisis situations.”

They were looking down the road to the future. They had two small children and were pretty busy.

But Irm got a call a couple weeks later, asking them to take in a14 year old girl with a three-day old baby that had to leave the hospital.

Their three children, Cory, Zach and Stephanie, who is Elsa’s mom, grew up with numerous foster brothers and sisters, some who were legally placed with the family and some who appreciated the open door and open-heart family policy.

This made a lasting impression on the three children and on their children.

A few years later when Stephanie and Irm were involved in the same neighborhood Bible study, the group decided to create hygiene packs, including socks, to take to homeless people in Milwaukee.

“We drove around and looked for people living on the streets,” Stephanie said. “I took Else, who was about 8, out of school to go with us.”

Elsa is a Girl Scout and Stephanie is a leader. When they discussed the Silver Award that Elsa could earn, Elsa decided to do something to benefit 12- to 17-year-old girls who were going into foster care.

The idea was to create bags of Beauty and Bravery. The bags would hold things like pens, small notebooks, hair ties, lip balms, nail polish and other personal care supplies. Elsa and Scarlett also created a brochure with suggestions to help the girls feel calm and brave.

Elsa needed a partner, so Stephanie put a notice on the Girl Scout leader’s Facebook page and another leader, Tina Fallscher, and her daughter, Scarlett, answered the call.

Elsa is 12, a student at Trevor-Wilmot School and a member of Troop 9338. Scarlett is 11, a student at Lakewood School and a member of Troop 32432. They spent over an hour and a half last December, answering questions put to them by leaders in the foster care programs in Kenosha County.

Mothers Tina and Stephanie agreed the way the girls handled the questions and the articulate answers they gave was amazing.

Elsa had heard many stories from her grandmother and Scarlett had spoken with some of her friends who were foster children.

“Grandma told me about how two girls who had come to stay with her came with nothing,” Elsa said.

Scarlett heard from one of her friends that not knowing with whom they were going to stay was unsettling.

Their goal is to create 100 bags and community donations are needed. The Girl Scouts have a policy not to accept any financial donations, but products only.

Items requested include nail polish, eye shadow palettes, lotions, shampoo and conditioners, facial cleanser, pens, hair ties, necklaces and other items that would help a young girl in a new environment.

Twin Lakes donation drop off locations are Bodi’s Bakery and Midwest Dental. In Genoa City, the donation drop-offs are Polterman Fashion Inc. and Straight to Curly hair salon.

Trevor locations are Head Hunters beauty salon, the Fire Pitt restaurant and Trevor-Wilmot Grade School.

Other donation drop-off locations are Ruth’s Hairlines in Silver Lake, Salon Liv in Wilmot and Always Remember That Antiques in Salem.

Donations are needed by May 1.


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