For about a year, Girl Scout Jasani Smallwood has been preparing to donate hats she made for Fayetteville’s homeless community,
Smallwood, 17, was awarded the Girl Scouts Gold Award for knitting hats to donate to the homeless and educating others on how they can do the same.
“My mom and everyone, they were asking me to pick a topic that really reflected who I am as a person and what I’m passionate about,” said Smallwood. “So, I knew that I liked making hats, because I’ve been making them since third grade, and I knew that there was a big homeless population in Fayetteville, and I thought that maybe I could also help out by giving them in winter wear.”
The Gold Award is earned by a high school Girl Scout who works to address an issue she’s passionate about in a way that produces meaningful and lasting change, according to a news release from Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines
Smallwood is donating particularly to Stable Stockings, a Fayetteville nonprofit organization.
“I did like that they were centralized downtown and I wanted to know that it was going to a place to where I knew it would be going out for free to the homeless population,” said Smallwood. “I know that in the wintertime, they go downtown, and they hand out bags for the homeless and also stockings filled with canned goods, and other means, like toothpaste and soap and stuff like that.”
Smallwood said she got the idea to make and donate the hats from Skate for Change, a national network of skateboarders who hand out hygiene kits, water and food to the homeless.
In addition to making the hats herself, Smallwood also teaches classes so others can learn how to make them.
This is the first time Smallwood, the daughter of Jason and Elizabeth Smallwood, has done a project like this, and it took a year for her to prepare the donation while also managing her extracurriculars. On top of her school work, Smallwood, a senior, has been in Girl Scouts for nine years, serves as SGA president at Cumberland Polytechnic High School and the Fayetteville-Cumberland Youth Council.
“Knitting hats takes a little while to do — around two or three hours,” Smallwood said. “So, with juggling all that, I had to space my time out so I was able to do everything and still be able to show up for my commitments.”
Now, some people have been giving Smallwood additional clothes to donate.
“Gold Award Girl Scouts don’t just change the world for the better, they change it for good — and Jasani embodies everything this achievement stands for,” Lisa Jones, chief executive officer, Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines, said in the release. “Jasani addressed an issue that’s important to her — homelessness — for her Gold Award, and we congratulate her on this momentous accomplishment.”
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Staff writer Akira Kyles can be reached at email@example.com.