American Heritage Girls: Confronting the Loneliness Epidemic with True and Lasting Bonds of Friendship

April 19, 2021

CINCINNATI, Ohio Rampant loneliness existed long before COVID-19, and experts believe it’s now worse. Evidence demonstrates that loneliness “can damage health and shorten lives as much as obesity and smoking.”At its inception—and today—American Heritage Girls (AHG, is steeped in camaraderie, recognizing the need for both AHG member girls, their families and AHG leaders to bond.  AHG is a place for forming true and lasting relationships at any age. 

“AHG really gave me an opportunity to meet like-minded women,” said Samantha B, an AHG troop leader. “It’s been a blessing to find women who care about me and my daughters. Our troop, has been a rock for me through some really hard times the past few years. I have someone I can call on to pray for me, my daughters, my husband or my sons. [There] is a whole group of people I am just really blessed to know.”

“We’re experiencing what social scientists call a Loneliness Epidemic, despite being more connected than ever before,” stated Patti Garibay, founder and executive director of AHG.

Researchers estimate that prolonged feelings of loneliness can actually shorten a person’s life by 15 years, making isolation as equally impactful as smoking 15 cigarettes per day.

“Prolonged social isolation and feelings of exclusion are causing increases in stress, anxiety, and sadness for both adults and our girls. So, what’s the cure? God made humans to be in community with one another—but not just any community, authentic community. American Heritage Girls encourages families to join this community, a place where girls thrive because Christ is at the center of everything we do.”

American Heritage Girls was founded by a group of parents wanting a faith-based, scout-type character development program for their daughters in 1995. American Heritage Girls across the nation and the globe participate in badge programs, service projects, leadership opportunities, and outdoor experiences, all with an emphasis on Christian values and family involvement.

In addition to the biblically based parenting advice shared in the Raising Godly Girls blog and radio features that are heard on 770 radio stations, American Heritage Girls provides a community experience in a Troop setting. Girls benefit from Christ-centered friendships and mentors to assist them in becoming Godly girls.

Today there are Troops in all 50 states and in 15 countries around the world through the Trailblazer Program. A variety of Christian denominations are also represented as Charter Organizations for Troops. There are thousands of volunteer members across the country helping girls to grow in their faith, cultivate a heart for service, enjoy the great outdoors, and have more fun than they can imagine.


To schedule interviews with Patti Garibay, founder and executive director of American Heritage Girls (AHG,, contact, Marjorie Pratt, 610.584.1096, ext. 107, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.