Best friends since the age of two, Chloe Mevissen and Kaitlyn Jones have done everything together – from receiving awards at the same time, to working on school projects, playing in band and participating in dance class together, and performing in plays alongside one another.
So it was only natural that, at age seven, both girls joined the same Girl Scout Troop, Troop 14869, in McDonough.
“Almost anything you can imagine, we have done together at some point,” laughed Jones.
Both girls are in 9th grade now and have remained in the same Girl Scout Troop since joining in 2nd grade. And, like everything else they have done as a friend duo over the years, they have just completed their Girl Scout Silver Award together.
The Girl Scout Silver Award is described by the Girls Scouts of the USA website as being the “highest honor a Cadette can achieve” and requires that candidates “identify an issue you care about in the community, develop a project to address the issue, and then complete said project.”
The girls’ shared passion for animals resulted in a silver project that benefits rescue organizations in Henry County.
“We pretty much knew from the beginning that we wanted to do something with animals because we’re both huge animal lovers,” said Mevissen.
After approaching Jennifer Evans, the founder of the Henry County Animal Initiative, for project ideas, Chloe and Kaitlyn decided to build two pet food pantry donation boxes that will collect canned food items for cats and/or dogs.
This is the fifth Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts project that Evans has contributed to and she does so in order to foster compassion in area youth toward animals.
“It’s very encouraging to see that our youth are learning to step up and do more to help the community and to help the animals in the community,” said Evans. “It’s just encouraging to see kids wanting to be involved in the community and want to make a difference in the lives of animals and people.”
Chloe and Kaitlyn began working on their project in June of this year and have spent over 60 hours constructing and painting the two donation boxes.
“We did everything with this project with the help of our families and friends,” said Jones. “We built the boxes, we painted the boxes, we worked on getting the supplies, [and] we created letters to different people finding places we could put these boxes.”
On Saturday, September 19, Chloe and Kaitlyn placed their completed pet food pantries in Queen Bee Coffee Company on the McDonough Square and at Tractor Supply in McDonough.
A plaque placed on both of the finished pantries reads, “Teamed with Henry County Animal Initiative, the pet pantry was created to give animal lovers in the area a place to donate canned pet food to local animal rescues. Please help a cat or dog in need.”
The girls hope that members of the community will make donations to the pantry to help address the needs of area animal rescues.
“I definitely hope that everyone takes the opportunity to donate to rescues and even decide to donate more than just canned food and help as much as they can,” said Mevissen. “Hopefully this gets everyone interested in helping all the animals.”
Both Chloe and Kaitlyn are grateful for the experience of creating the pantries and are even more excited that they could complete the project together.
“It’s been a lot of fun. I love helping the community and being able to do it with my best friend makes it a whole lot better,” said Mevissen. “I’m glad to be able to help a lot of people and animals especially. I loved doing it. It’s been an amazing experience.”
“It made it really easy to communicate and this project was really fun being able to do it with my best friend,” said Jones. “Helping others has always been a passion of mine, so being able to help the community with a project like this has been a massive honor.”
Both girls plan to remain with the Girl Scouts through high school and to pursue their Gold Awards.