NEWS CLIP- West Deer Girl Scout brightens holidays for veterans - Butler VA Health Care System
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Butler VA Health Care System


NEWS CLIP- West Deer Girl Scout brightens holidays for veterans

December 31, 2010

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE -- December 31, 2010

BUTLER — Because his sight is poor, Henry Kumrow couldn't make out the types of gifts Paige Campbell handed him on Thursday. Nonetheless, he expressed gratitude for her effort to make the holidays a little merrier for patients such as himself at VA Butler Healthcare.

"It's just wonderful what she did," said Kumrow, 78, an Army veteran from Wampum. "All of these vets are going to think good of her because of this."

Campbell, 18, of West Deer organized a Christmas gift collection to benefit about 120 patients at the facility. A Girl Scout for the past 13 years, she is using the effort as her Gold Award service project.

Earning a Gold Award is the equivalent of a Boy Scout gaining the rank of Eagle Scout.

Campbell's collection drive ran for about two weeks in November. By accepting contributions from the community and placing donation boxes in Deer Lakes High School and Deer Lakes Middle School, she collected more than 500 items ranging from pencils and notebooks to DVDs.

She and her mother, Janette Campbell, estimated the total value of the gifts at about $1,500.

Paige Campbell and a few other Girl Scouts from West Deer distributed the gifts yesterday at VA Butler Healthcare while about 20 of the veterans living there played bingo. It was Kumrow who accepted the gifts on behalf of the residents.

"The biggest gift was that she was able to come out here and make this presentation," said Paula McCarl, VA Butler Healthcare spokeswoman. "It's the visit that counts the most."

Campbell said she formed the idea for helping after listening to her mother — a disabled Army veteran — describe the loneliness many of the veterans deal with while they're hospitalized.

"I wanted to bring them a little joy," Paige Campbell said. "I felt like I needed to give something back to them because they did so much for us."

Campbell said she's considering military service after she earns her undergraduate degrees at Penn State University. She plans to major in veterinary and biomedical sciences and minor in equine sciences after graduating from Deer Lakes High School in the spring.

She said she'll start at Penn State New Kensington. Her ultimate goal is to attend veterinary school.

Read more: West Deer Girl Scout brightens holidays for veterans - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review