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Victoria Shackelford's Blessing Box earns Girl Scouts Gold Award

Victoria Shackelford will accept the prestigious Girl Scouts Gold Award this May for her Blessing Box project. Now a Girl Scout Graduated Ambassador and in college at Ogeechee Tech, Victoria has been a member of Girl Scouts since she was 6.
Girl Scouts Graduated Ambassador Victoria Shackelford and her Gold Award Project

Victoria Shackelford, 18, is sending waves of change through the Bulloch County Community and beyond. Shackelford, who attended Southeast Bulloch High School and is now at Ogeechee Technical College, is doing so through her “Blessing Box” initiative. Her initiative targets citizens and communities in need across Georgia to supply them with non-perishable foods and supplies, free of charge. The items are available in an outdoor cubby, similar to "Little Free Libraries."

Some of the stocked items in the Blessing Box are canned goods, books for all ages, and compartments for prayer requests. One Blessing Box is located at the Brooklet United Methodist Church. However, there are other Blessing Box locations stationed similarly around Georgia.  

Necessities and more inside the Blessing Box at Brooklet UMC

Shackelford began her project with the hopes of securing the Gold Award for exemplary service work from the Girls Scouts of America organization, and her hopes have now become a reality. In May, she will officially accept the Gold Award during a special ceremony in Savannah, GA. This is the highest award a Girl Scout can receive.

Back when deciding on what project to pursue for the Gold Award, Shackelford had a few ideas on the drawing board for consideration. However, it was her desire to help the local impoverished community which ultimately won out.

“I know that there a lot of people who struggle every day financially," she said. "So, this Blessing Box allows me to contribute my part to the welfare of humanity.”

She began her work by enlisting the help of her parents, church, and local community to get the first box erected. Shackelford chose her home church, Brooklet United Methodist Church, as the first location for her work because it seemed like the perfect haven for those in need.

A box for prayer requests

Participating in the Blessing Box is a simple process. If you want to contribute to the Blessing Box, simply bring any non-perishable food item (or supplies) to stock on its shelves. The box is limited in space, so bring only relevant materials to restock at this time. In-need individuals can simply go to the box and take what they need at any time.

And if you (or anyone you know!) is in need of well-wishes or affirmed agreement in prayer, you may leave anonymous prayer requests in the attached prayer box. The church parishioners will stand with you on those things which you’re requesting from above. The Blessing Box is truly a one-stop-shop for basic needs and spiritual nourishment. Other locations for the Blessing Box can be found on various church grounds around Georgia -- in Americus, Tybee Island, Guyton, and Dallas.


Shackelford’s desire to help the local community grew over time through her work with the Girl Scouts organization, and earning the Gold Award became her ultimate goal. She began her time with the Girl Scouts at the age of 6 as a Daisy (the youngest level in Girl Scouts). However, she has now reached the rank of a Graduated Ambassador, surpassing the ultimate rank of an Ambassador, which was the required rank for the Gold Award. She now attends Ogeechee Technical College but remains connected to the Girl Scouts organization, as it is her constant home base.

"I love the adventures you get from Girl Scouts," she said. "Regular activities like camping, kayaking, and hiking are frequent modes through which confidence and self-worth are built. The organization truly teaches you how to be an independent individual and survive on your own.”

Shackelford said that earning the Gold Award “shows that you are independent and have the necessary requirements to succeed in life.” In addition, she knows that completing this project and earning the prestigious award will help her navigate through life more successfully and help garner more career opportunities and advancements down the line.

Shackleford's Blessing Box

In true Girl Scout fashion, Shackelford wanted to recognize the contributions of others and has countless thanks to give regarding the success of her Blessing Box and Girl Scout career thus far. She extends thanks to her Girl Scout Leader, Monica Harris, for her guidance throughout her Girl Scout career. She also extends thanks to her mentor, Chase Ward, for being a positive role model in her life. She also gives gratitude to her mother, Candace Shackelford, and father, Lou Shackelford, for their support in helping her build and maintain the Blessing Boxes. She gives final thanks to the Brooklet United Methodist Church for allowing her to set up her Blessing Box structure on the church grounds.

If you would like to contribute to the Blessing Box, please visit the Brooklet United Methodist Church at 201 Parker Ave, Brooklet, GA 30415, for donation drop-offs.