Girls Scouts Donate Hundreds Of Books

One South Mississippi school library has hundreds of new books, thanks to some eager young teens.

Saturday, a group of Girls Scouts made the trip from Florida to Mississippi to bring St. Martin Middle School a few good reads.

Two years ago, the group of Tampa Florida Girl Scouts aimed for the organizations silver award, the second highest awards given to Girls Scouts.

However, what began as a simple project will now benefit hundreds of South Mississippi children affected by Hurricane Katrina.

"Since we live in Florida and it barely missed us we know that we probably would expect the same from other people to help us," said Kaytee Kelly.

Her troop leader Cay Bacon agrees.

"There have been times that it's been predicted that it's coming our way so we leave town. Fortunately for us, unfortunately for our neighbors, we have not had a direct hit," Bacon said.

Bacon says all nine girls spent countless weekends and days after school raising money to buy books for St. Martin Middle School. It's something school librarian Lee Wilson is grateful for.

"We've depended on donations from generous donations from people like the Girls Scouts here to get us back started not only in the library but in the other classrooms too," Wilson said.

The group raised $8,000. It was enough money to buy every single book on the library's book list and even more books for the classrooms.

"We on the coast have been so lucky that people have reached out to us and are still reaching out. We still have groups doing things like this, so we are eternally grateful," Wilson said.

She is grateful that Troop 1196 is now a part of South Mississippi's history. History they hope people will one day read about.

The Girls Scouts tour of South Mississippi didn't end in St. Martin Middle School. They also got a chance to help kick off South Mississippi's 2008 Mardi Gras season.

Hundreds of people packed the streets in Ocean Springs for the annual parade. Many local businesses took part in the parade. And like any other year, there were plenty of beads to go around for everyone.