AHG partners with Joni & Friends to serve those impacted by disabilities through nation-wide service campaign
September 12, 2022
CINCINNATI, Ohio — Birthdays are for celebrating! And in the case of American Heritage Girls (AHG,
www.americanheritagegirls.org), one of the largest Christian, scout-type organizations in the world, birthdays are also about giving selflessly to others rather than receiving.
AHG’s National Day of Service (NDS) began in 2012 and is held annually on the third Saturday in September. This year, the National Day of Service will be held on Saturday, September 17. This day is set aside for Troops across the country to join together in living out the AHG Oath in their own communities as they thoughtfully and faithfully give to others. This event allows Troops to simultaneously celebrate AHG’s birthday and serve their communities.
For the first time, AHG is introducing an initiative to unite AHG Troops on a national scale around one theme — serving persons impacted by disabilities. This is a topic near and dear to AHG Founder and Executive Director Patti Garibay’s heart.
“Growing up with a father whose medical condition resulted in a physical disability, I learned at a young age to serve with compassion and to see value in every human life,” Garibay stated. “My father’s battle with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) opened my eyes to the daily struggles and sacrifices those with disabilities and their families go through every single day. Jesus calls us to make disciples of all the nations and that includes all of God’s children. I pray that this year’s National Day of Service results in lives changed as AHG girls across the country seek to serve and understand those who are differently-abled.”
AHG is partnering with Joni & Friends to provide resources for Troop leaders to educate their Troops on topics such as disability awareness and disability etiquette. AHG Troops received resources and suggested ideas for honoring this theme during their day of service in their communities, as well as videos and activities to incorporate into their Troop meetings.
One AHG mom commented, “My Pioneer daughter has high functioning autism. Out of many different groups and programs we’ve been in, AHG has been the only program where she has made friends and flourished. This year we had another high functioning autistic child join our Troop, also a Pioneer. They became instant friends, a true rarity for my daughter. I’m thankful for a program like AHG on many levels, but especially because it gives my daughter all the possibilities that it does.”
In addition to this special day dedicated to serving others, Troops perform service in their communities year-round. In the AHG Program Year ending May 30, 2021, girls performed 417,295 service hours across the country despite challenges brought on by the pandemic.
Garibay added, “Throughout my tenure as a volunteer working with girls and now as a leader of volunteers who work with girls, one area remains constant: Girls love service. Girls grow emotionally and spiritually from serving. They become more compassionate and empathetic when they consider the needs of others.”
Garibay recently spoke on Focus on the Family’s nationwide radio program about the importance of raising godly girls and how parents can help equip the next generation of women. Host Jim Daly said, “Patti’s advancing a very noble cause and I’m so encouraged by her commitment to godly values and her desire to pour into the next generation of young women.”
AHG’s mission is to build women of integrity through service to God, family, community, and country. Itis dedicated to providing authentic, positive, and values-driven character and leadership development opportunities and outdoor adventure for girls across the nation.
American Heritage Girls was founded in 1995 by a group of parents who wanted this faith-based, scout-type character development program for their daughters. At AHG, girls ages five to 18 meet together as a single Troop at the same time and then break out into Units by Levels. This gives AHG girls the important social experience of interacting with friends and godly mentors of various ages; members also learn leadership skills within a group setting. AHG Troops are located in local communities across the nation. If none exists in a given area, families can bring the AHG Program to their own area. An American Heritage Girls Troop Development Coach is available to provide resources to potential Charter Organizations and other families to form a new Troop. To hear more about the purpose, mission, and vision of AHG from Founder and Executive Director Patti Garibay, click here.
Today, there are Troops in all 50 states and girls being served in 15 countries around the globe. Girls can join a Troop at any time; if a Troop is not available nearby, they can become a Trailblazer and enjoy the AHG program alongside their parent. A variety of Christian denominations are also represented as Charter Organizations for Troops. Thousands of volunteer members across the country are helping girls grow in their faith, cultivate a heart for service, enjoy the great outdoors, and have more fun than they can imagine.
The “Raising Godly Girls” radio feature and Raising Godly Girls blog shares guidance and biblically based advice on many key topics affecting girls today — from bullying and identity to anxiety and body image issues. It gives parents, educators, and faith community leaders a set of tools, resources, and Scripture-based advice to assist in raising girls after God’s own heart. The “Raising Godly Girls Minute” with Patti Garibay airs on 1000+ Christian radio stations across the country.