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El Dorado Hills Brownies help storm victim across country

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Thanks to the kindness and generosity of a local Brownie Troop, a fellow Brownie across the country received many gifts for Christmas.

Seven-year-old Michaela Raymond lives in New Jersey and lost everything during Super storm Sandy.

“(We) made contact with the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore to try and find a Brownie to ‘adopt’ that had been affected by … Sandy,” said Corey Walker, mother of Kendall who is in troop 1940. “We were provided the name Michaela Raymond. Her home is right across the street from the shoreline and her house was flooded and is now bare down to the studs.”

The troop got together and has sent money, gift cards and stuffed animals to Michaela.

“It’s been fun thinking of ways to help Michaela. My grandpa gave me a huge jar of coins over the weekend and said we can do something fun with the money. I decided to give some of it to Michaela,” said Kendall Walker, 7. “We took all the pennies and any change that would not fit in a roll to CoinStar and got her a gift card for about $50 to Old Navy.”

Kendall’s mom said the girls in the troop want to help.

“When we showed our troop what had happened to her home, the girls wanted to help. They had recently earned about $200 selling magazines, nuts and candies,” Walker said. “We were going to have a celebration at Monster Golf. We had the girls vote whether they would like to still use the money for golf, or to help out Michaela. They unanimously agreed that they needed to help Michaela.”

Ashleigh Herek, 8 years old and a second-grader at Lake View Elementary School in El Dorado Hills, said she sent stuffed animals and a game.

“I felt very bad that she lost all her toys in (the storm),” Herek said. “It made me feel happy to give her things.”

Colleen Simkin, whose 9-year-old daughter Kelly is in troop 1940, said the girls decided on their own what to send.

“It’s nice to see that the values you instill actually come through,” she said. “They can relate to her and realize that she’s lost everything.”

The first thing sent to Michaela was a new Brownie vest.

Since beginning their giving spree the troop decided to send items for Christmas as well.

“We knew there were certain things that Michaela wanted and, of course, she needed more stuffed animals,” Simkin said.

A quiet Julia Rusk, 8, said she was “sad for Michaela.”

“I sent her one of my favorite stuffed horses, some books and clothes,” she said.

Michaela’s mom, Margie, said that it has made Michaela very happy.

“She thinks it’s very cool to have friends in California,” Margie Raymond said.