Girl Scout's lion-like pride adds more Wardrobe connotations


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Posted Online: Dec. 07, 2012, 9:00 am
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By Leon Lagerstam, llagerstam@qconline.com
MOLINE -- C.S. Lewis comparisons keep hanging around The Wardrobe clothing ministry run by Riverside United Methodist Church.

The ministry was created a couple years ago and named The Wardrobe in honor of the book ''The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.''

A community garden added earlier this year in The Wardrobe's' backyard, at 2418 41st St., was named The Agape Gardens, a term Mr. Lewis described in ''The Four Loves'' as a Greek Word meaning spiritual love.

Next, comes a young hero named Aislin Geedey, 11, of Rock Island, whose name is similar to the name of Aslan, the lion character in Mr. Lewis' ''Narnia'' books.

Aislin recently waged a campaign that collected 737 clothing items for children of all ages, from infants to teens. It helped her earn a Girl Scout Bronze award, the highest award a Junior scout can achieve.

Aislin means "peace and inspiration" in Celtic, her mother, Dara Wegman-Geedey, said.

But the Aslan coincidence is ''wonderful fun,'' Aislin said, adding that she's a Leo, ''and my school's mascot is a lion.''

Aislin is a sixth-grader at Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf, and a member of Riverside Methodist.

She enlisted the help of fellow Rivermont Lions to conduct the clothing drive, an idea she came up with during the Summer Splash vacation Bible school at her church. Making hygiene kits for a local domestic-violence shelter was one of the Bible school projects, she said.

But Aislin wanted to do more, so she contacted Christian Care Domestic Violence Shelter volunteer coordinator Kris Houghton.

She learned that what the shelter most needed was children's clothing, ''because often people leave domestic-violence situations with just the clothes on their back,'' Aislin wrote in a list of steps she had to submit to the Girl Scouts as part of the Bronze Award requirements.

Connecting her church's clothing ministry to the work done at Christian Care's shelter was one of the coolest parts of her project, she said. So was holding a collection-box decorating party with friends for her birthday, and having them bring clothing donations instead of presents, she said.

Aislin also developed a voucher system for people from the shelters to use to get clothes for free. That Wardrobe normally charges $1 per bag of clothes, but the vouchers allow shelter shoppers to get five bags for free, Aislin said. She designed vouchers on her computer, and made 100 copies.

Kris McMillan, the church's outreach coordinator and The Wardrobe overseer, helped Aislin create the vouchers.

''It warms my heart that Aislin was able to see the need of the community,'' Ms. McMillan said. ''Her project, from start to finish, truly was fueled by the goodness of her heart, and to realize that any act of kindness can ripple out in countless ways that you may never know about. I feel she is an inspiration to all, no matter what age.''

It took Aislin four months to complete the project. "Omigosh, I can't believe we collected so much stuff.I thought we'd collect 200 to 300 things, but wound up with 737,'' she said.

Aislin wasn't expecting to get all the attention she got, such as a large story written by the Girl Scouts and put on their website."All I expected was a handshake,'' she said.

The project also taught Aislin ''that I can probably do anything that I set my mind on and really want to get accomplished,'' she said. ''I also learned that I can't do everything by myself.''

Her mother acted as adviser/coordinator of the project, and her father, Kevin Geedey, did a fair amount of the driving, moving boxes of clothes and other related tasks. A core group of eight school friends also helped Aislin.

''But the whole school got involved,'' she said, adding that her school plans to conduct the drive each fall.

The project taught Aislin a lot about domestic violence and what shelters do ''in an age-appropriate manner,'' Ms. Wegman-Geedey said.

''The thing that helped me finish my project was knowing that I would feel horrible if I let all those people down that I had promised to try and help with my project,'' Aislin said.

''You feel so happy and proud of yourself for doing something that took a lot of effort and other people benefited from your work.''

















 



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  Today is Wednesday, Sept. 17, the 260th day of 2014. There are 105 days left in the year.
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1889 -- 125 years ago: The Rev. R.F. Sweet, rector of Trinity Episcopal Parish, left for the East to visit his boyhood home in Boston before attending the general convention of the Episcopal Church in New York.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Dr. E.A. Anderson was named to succeed Dr. E.L. Kerns as head physician of the Modern Woodmen of America, and moved to Rock Island from Holdingford, Minn.
1939 -- 75 years ago: One week late, because of the outbreak of war, Dr. E.L. Beyer resumed his work as professor of romance languages at Augustana College. Dr. and Mrs. Beyer left Germany on the last train to the Belgian border.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Employees in Turnstyle stores in Moline and Davenport will vote Oct. 2 in an election set up by the Chicago regional office of the National Labor Relations Board. Employees will vote either for the Retail Clerk International or for no union.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Rock Island High School is considering a step to help teen moms stay in school and get their diploma. The school board is expected to vote tonight on instituting an on-site child care center.


(More History)