VESTAL, N.Y. – (WIVT/WBGH) Two local girl scouts have made an impact in their community as part of Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways (GSNYPENN) Girl Scout Silver Award project initiative by redesigning a nursing room at Mom’s House in Johnson City.

Vestal Girl Scout ca, Ellie Russell and Ava Ryczak, of Troop 30524 used the vessel of the Silver Award, which is the highest honor a Girl Scout Cadette (grades 6-8) can receive, to look around their community and develop a project that can make the neighborhood a better place.

They chose to help Mom’s House– a non-profit organization that empowers economically disadvantaged single parents to complete their education by providing free, New York State-licensed childcare in an environment that nurtures both parent and child.

To help improve Mom’s House’s cause, Ellie and Ava researched the rights of breastfeeding mothers and conducted interviews with a lactation consultant while gathering suggestions from local mothers to make their room as comfortable, cozy and functional as possible.

“I learned so much about Mom’s House and all they do for our community,” says Ava.

In order to raise funds for the upgrades, the girls looked to local yard sales and donations from friends and family. With the funds raised, Ellie and Ava handmade a cushion for the rocking chair, created a sign for the door, sewed curtains for the window, and equipped the nursing room with a shelf they painted themselves that includes a tiny fridge, sound machine, snacks, bottled water, phone chargers, hand sanitizer and even homemade bibs donated by a friend. They also added a nursing pillow and step stool for comfort. 

Ellie shared that she’s hopeful that this Girl Scout Silver Award project will “create a useful and relaxing space for moms.”