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A Letter from our CEO - Lidia Soto-Harmon - Uvalde, Texas


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Dear Girl Scout Family,

Like you, I am devastated by the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas. The violence our families are experiencing around the country and – most recently in Buffalo, Orange County, and San Bernardino – are heartbreaking. Any act of violence and hatred goes against the core values of Girl Scouts.  Our whole Girl Scout Movement stands against violence of any kind.

We have learned that one of our Girl Scouts, 10-year-old Amerie Jo, lost her life in the mass shooting and tried to save the lives of others by using her cell phone to call 911. We are thinking of our Girl Scout families in Uvalde and our sister Council in Southwest Texas. Here is a link to the work they are doing to help families:  https://www.girlscouts-swtx.org/en/our-council/girl-scout-strong-for-uvalde.html.

Below are some additional resources you may wish to use to help you navigate interactions with Girl Scouts, your own families, and your community.

Raising Awesome Girls support:

·When Scary News Shakes Her World

Child-centered grief and trauma support:

·The National School Crisis Center offers practical tips for supporting youth with conversations—for example, Talking to Children About Tragedies.

·The National Alliance for Children's Grief (NACG) offers videos and an FAQ section aimed at understanding grief in children and helping caring adults guide them through loss. Their Hero Toolkit offers activities for talking about grief with children and teens.

·The National Child Traumatic Stress Network supports adults in talking with children about violent events and grief:

          -Helping Teens with Traumatic Grief: how teens may feel when struggling with the death of someone close and what caregivers can do to help

          -After a Crisis: how parents can help young children, toddlers, and preschoolers heal after a traumatic event

·Coping After Mass Violence: common reactions children and families experience after an event of mass violence and what they can do to take care of themselves

·Helping Youth After Mass Violence: common reactions children have, how parents can help them, and self-care tips after a violent event

·Guiding Adults in Talking to Children: ways to navigate children's questions about death, funerals, and memorials

·Coping After Violence: tips for supporting teens

Support for talking with kids about race, discrimination, and racialized violence:

·The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education has an interview with clinical psychologist Howard Stevenson, Talking to Children After Racial Incidents.

·EmbraceRace's Supporting Kids Through Racialized Violence toolkit offers resources to help us communicate with kids about racialized violence and support them in pushing back against it.

·The American Psychological Association offers support that includes Talking to Kids About Discrimination.

·The Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences has a short listen, Talking to Children About Race and Ethnicity, about why race conversations with kids are important.

Mental health crisis support (general):

·Call 911

· National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org for online emotional support

·The Crisis Text Line connects you to a trained crisis counselor for free, 24/7 crisis support via text message: text NAMI to 741741

·The Disaster Distress Helpline is a 24/7 national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling (more info at National Institute of Mental Health): dial 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor

Mental health care services for families and troops:

·National Alliance for Children's Grief (NACG) links to local support groups and professionals  

·SAMHSA's Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) free, confidential, 24/7 treatment referral and information in English and Spanish

·Mental Health America (MHA) links to affiliates across the country and offers resources for finding treatment

Take good care of yourselves. There are no words to describe the heavy impact this tragedy has on us.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Lidia Soto-Harmon                                                                                          Chief Executive Officer                                                                                      Girl Scouts Nation's Capital