Local girl volunteers her way to winning community service award


Karen Lovett, KP News

Alyssa Garcia, 10, prepares a sign for the Girl Scout rummage sale at Lake Kathryn Village on Aug. 16. Photo by Karen Lovett, KP News

Ten-year-old Alyssa Garcia is a familiar face around the Key Peninsula. A member of Girl Scout Troop 40956 and an active member of the Key Peninsula Youth Council, Garcia can’t seem to get enough of doing good deeds for the community.

Garcia’s name was submitted last year for the Kohl’s Cares for Kids scholarship program. The Vaughn Elementary student was awarded a $50 gift certificate as the local Western Washington winner. This put her in the running for a chance in the regional competition and the opportunity to take home a scholarship. She did not win the regional title for last year’s efforts, but is eligible to compete again in the future.

He mother, Audra Garcia, is a District 2 director of the Key Peninsula Community Council. She heads the KP Youth Council and is also the leader of Girl Scout Super Troop 40956.

In 2013, the fourth grader participated in beach cleanups at Purdy with Scouts and at Penrose Park with the KP Youth Council. Again with KP Youth she did clean-ups at the three KP elementary schools, Evergreen, Minter Creek and Vaughn. When the KP Youth Council was scheduled to check out the disc golf course for problems at Volunteer Park, Alyssa Garcia was the only one of nine members to show up. She worked at the Key Peninsula Civic Center crab feed fundraiser, too.

“During the Race for a Soldier in Gig Harbor, Alyssa stood in the rain and handed out water to runners,” Audra Garcia said.

On Halloween Garcia worked at a game booth at the civic center. She also joined fellow Scout members at the Longbranch Improvement Club to assist with Kids and Christmas.

When she appeared at a Gig Harbor charity event to make fleece blankets for an orphanage in Mexico, Garcia was told it was a graduation project for seniors. Undaunted, she stayed and made blankets. She was the only elementary student there.

This was her second year working at KeyFest as a “Helper Monkey.” Fifteen Girl Scouts were among the 25 youth volunteers. She is also a member of Kid Zone, volunteers for Key Pen Parks.

Garcia’s Girl Scout Troop will be at Creviston Valley Farm volunteering during the KP Farm Tour.

When asked why she likes volunteering, she said, “I meet lots of people I don’t know. In Girl Scouts we make crafts and learn about other places and meet other girls from other places.”

On Aug. 16, Garcia and other girls from her troop were busy running a rummage sale to earn gas money for a van. This time the money will be spent for themselves. The girls are headed to a theme park in Silverwood, Idaho for Labor Day weekend.

Scholarship America took over running the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program four years ago. The program is for children ages 6 to 18. This was the biggest year ever with 37,000 nominations and 2,300 local winners throughout the country.

For information, visit Kohlsscholarshipamerica.org or call (319) 688-4336.