When Sophie Marro’s grandmother suffered a stroke a while back, the 13-year-old Girl Scout Cadette knew she wanted to do something that could help patients in rehab. After witnessing cancer patients struggle with seatbelts due to the portacath used for their chemotherapy, Sophie started making port pillows as part of her Girl Scout Silver Award project.
One weekend, 12 people and more than 250 port pillows later, Sophie, who lives in Downers Grove, was able to donate the items to Elmhurst Hospital Cancer Center, the hospital that treated her grandmother.
“The patients were really happy to see them,” Sophie said. “They were glad to see someone was thinking of them. It felt really good and I was happy that I could give back to the community that helped my grandmother.”
As a result of her project, Sophie earned her Silver Award, which is the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn.
“I feel like I really honed in on three skills: leadership, organization and staying positive,” she said. “Leadership because I learned about accomplishing goal. Organization because there was a lot of material and people to organize to make sure everything ran smoothly.”
At one point while Sophie and her friends were making the pillows, all of the sewing machines broke because they were overworked.
“We got a little frustrated, but it was important to keep an upbeat attitude,” she said.
Sophie, who’s been a Girl Scout since first grade, has plans to earn her Gold Award as well, which is the highest award in Girl Scouting.
“I participate in a lot of sports, but they don’t really teach citizenship or giving back to the community,” she said. “I’m really happy that Girl Scouts allows me to do that.”