EDINBURG, Ind. – When Girl Scout Troop 119 outside Edinburgh, Ind., heard about wounded Indiana National Guard troops recovering in hospitals away from their families, they decided to do something about it.

“Brigadier General Brian Copes spoke at our school’s Veterans Day program about Hoosier National Guard soldiers that were wounded in the Middle East and recovering at Fort Knox (Ky.),” said Sherry Sweet, Troop 119 leader and organist at Edinburg United Methodist Church. “We had a Girl Scout meeting the next day and we voted to bring some Hoosier cheer to our own wounded warriors by making ‘Operation Christmas Card,’ our special project for our Bronze Award.”

The Bronze Award is the highest award Junior Girl Scouts (4th and 5th grade) can earn. The girls, who are supported by and meet at Edinburgh United Methodist Church, set a goal to send 20 cards to each of the 72 Indiana soldiers, “to cover their tables and walls with cheer from their home state,” Sweet said.

A few emails and phone calls later, and the girls had lined up an impressive list of state and local leaders to sign Christmas cards for the troops, including Governor Mike Pence, Senator Joe Donnelly, Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun, Shelbyville Police Chief Keith England and others. Sweet was especially pleased to get Bishop Mike Coyner’s participation.

“I am sure of those 72 people in the hospital, several are either United Methodists now, or grew up in or went to VBS in a Methodist Church,” Sweet said. “The personalized United Methodist Conference cards are wonderful – I am sure they are going to bring a touch of Jesus to the season!” 

Girl Scouts from Troop 119 meet with Senator Joe Donnelly, who signs a few of the cards for National Guard troops recovering away from their homes.

Photo courtesy Girl Scout Troop 119.