Jacey is a 2020 Girl Scout Gold Awardee. She has been a Girl Scout for 12 years and plans to attend Arizona State University to study psychology and business.
Q. What inspired your Gold Award project?
A. What most inspired me to do my project was going out to the park and seeing all of the pets and homeless that were in need. The people were being taken care of but the pets needed more consistent care. I went to the park where I heard that they help homeless people. I wanted to see what I could do. I noticed that the dogs needed food, leashes, collars and other items so their owners didn’t have to worry about that. I started researching and met with Councilwoman Adams to share my idea. She was very encouraging and said no one is doing anything like this for our community and said I could proceed.
Q. What did your project entail?
A. I provided food and vaccinations for the pets through fundraising and soliciting food, and necessities, such as leashes and booties. Then I solicited the assistance of a veterinarian so I could help get the pets and their owners into housing. It is a requirement for anyone requesting government housing assistance that their pets be vaccinated.
Q. What were the results or impact of your project?
A. When I started my project, I just wanted to feed the pets of homeless people, but then I learned that the homeless were staying on the streets because they didn’t have money to pay for vaccinations, preventing them from going into housing.
By getting a veterinarian to do the vaccinations, I contributed to getting seven people and their pets into housing. I’ve been going to a local park in Tempe every Tuesday evening for the past year and have handed out approximately 812 one-gallon bags of cat and dog food along with multiple pairs of booties, leashes, collars, and other necessities.
To spread the word about my Gold Award project, I created a Facebook page, I had business cards made, and was on FOX10 news. I posted weekly on my Facebook page to keep everyone in the loop from volunteers, people donating and to people who were encouraging me. My Facebook page is Jacey’s Gold Project – Feeding and Vaccinating Pets of Homeless People. I spoke to several groups, individuals, and pet stores asking for donations and made business cards to advertise my project. I contacted several Veterinarians before I found an organization that would help me.
Q. What important lessons did you learn about yourself during this project working towards your Gold Award?
A. The most important lesson I learned about myself through my project was that I am independent and patient. It took patience dealing with donors and vets who said they would help but didn’t follow through. I had to keep contacting them and finally realized that they weren’t going to help. But I was determined to find a willing vet to help and found an amazing one. I learned not to give up when other people didn’t follow through because people were counting on me. I also learned that follow-up, organization, and communication are critical to carrying out a project like this and I developed all of these skills during this project.
Q. What has Girl Scouting meant to you or what impact has it had on your life?
A. The impact Girl Scouting has had on my life is learning how to set a goal, achieve it and then enjoy the rewards from that goal. I am a top cookie seller and this has impacted me the most because I used to be shy and now I can talk to strangers with no problem. I have experienced Girl Scout camp, Sea World camp, have gone on an amazing trip to New York and am currently saving for a trip to Europe. I’ve learned the power of teamwork and responsibility. The Girl Scouts have had a huge impact on my life.
Q. What high school do/did you attend?
A. Seton Catholic Preparatory
Q. Any other interesting information about yourself or outcomes from your award that you would like to share?
A. I thought I would be scared of talking and working with the homeless, but it turned out they are regular people that are willing to help or are willing to be helped. Through my project, I built relationships with the homeless, other volunteers, Councilwoman Adams, Katherine Edick, my mentor who started the foundation that I built my Gold Award project on, and people that have donated money, necessities and pet food. I built a special relationship with Councilwoman Adams throughout the year working on the project and because of the impact, I made in the Tempe community she and Mayor Mark Mitchell prepared a proclamation, which declares October 29 Jacey Salisbury Day in Tempe.