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Such a good scout

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Georgia Stibbard with the stash of food, clothing, shoes and blankets she donated to the Soup Bus in Ballarat, with plenty of help from the Ballan community. Photo – Leo Stibbard

By Kate Taylor

It may have started with one little girl and one cardboard box, but Georgia Stibbard soon generated quite the outpouring of generosity in her home town.

At just seven years old Georgia, a Ballan Primary School student and a member of the Ballan 1st Scout Group, undertook a project as part of earning a new Scouts badge.

She decided to put a little cardboard box at the Ballan supermarket with a poster on it asking for people to donate items to The Soup Bus in Ballarat.

When dad Leo took Georgia to check her little cardboard box a couple of days later, he saw that it was empty – panicking, he sent her to get milk, at the back of the store, to buy himself enough time to quickly purchase some items and chuck them in the box without Georgia noticing.

But, as it turned out, that wasn’t necessary.

“The lady at the checkout pulled me up and said, ‘oh you don’t need to do that…’ she took Georgia and I down a corridor and there were already eight boxes, chock-a-block full of things that people had donated,” Leo told the Moorabool News.

As the boxes were replaced, they kept filling up, and word continued to spread over social media – soon Georgia’s campaign was all over facebook, and people were responding with donations.

“She ended up with 18 boxes full of donations, including clothing, blankets, everything down to food.”

And when Georgia donated it to the Soup Bus, they told her it was twice as much as they had in stock.

“The ladies at The Soup Bus were awesome, they made her day and she made theirs.  They asked Georgia to be a future ambassador.”

News of her success also spread through the online scouting world, and both the Regional Leader and the State Leader of Scouts Victoria visited Georgie to meet her.

“She was pretty excited about it all. She didn’t realise that the community was so generous.”

Supermarket manager Ben Hall said they were overwhelmed by the response from the community.

“We were extremely surprised, we could not believe how well she did, such a phenomenal job.”

Georgia now plans to make her cardboard box campaign an annual effort.