Did you know that I was a Girl Scout Leader – yikes – some 30+ years ago?!
I am so happy that social media allows me to keep in touch with many of those girls who have now turned into amazing young women.
Last week I made a comment on one of their posts letting them know how proud I was of her.
“A lot of the reasons I’m outspoken and speak up is because you taught us not to take any shit when we were younger. The Girl Scout cookie strike stays with me, and I tell people that story often. We were refusing to sell cookies unless we got more money per box, and we were going to switch to girl guides. We were in the paper you made us work and get those awards and those were the first times I felt accomplished, and I liked it.”
I guess old habits don’t change for me!
I received an email the other day from one of our followers:
“I commented last week after receiving your email urging me to do so. However, that message had NO link for any info to base my comments on, so I did my best using what was in that message & the links it led to. If I recall correctly, I did go to your website, again, no points to use in my comment, so I did my best.
If you’re asking people for donations, you need to prove you use those funds effectively. Asking people to comment on a message that gives no points or info to use in doing so wasn’t the most effective way you could’ve put those requests out.”
I took a deep breath and thought ok, maybe in my busyness I have not been clear. Maybe this person is new to our page and unaware of everything on our website.
I kept my response simple:
Hello and thank you for contacting us! We are very transparent with where donations are going including to help pay for a billboard on I-94, brochures and flyers to help raise awareness, legal fees and general office/website fees. We have spent over $2,000 advertising over the last few weeks and hope to be able to continue advertising through 11/24 when this comment period ends.
There is a wealth of information on our website, including almost daily blogs, that will help with your comment letter. We even pulled resources and talking points into one section of our website: https://chwha.org/save-the-trnp-wild-horses/
Thank you for reaching out and please let us know if you have additional questions.
I share these two stories with you because we have spent A LOT of time writing blogs over the last 43 or so days.
Just like with my Girl Scouts, I am not here to TELL you what to do. CHWHA is here to help educate you about the current situation the wild horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park are facing. We are here to help you navigate through this NEPA process and do our best to make sure you fully understand the best ways that you can help these horses right now.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!
Educated advocates make educated comments.
CHWHA is NOT out to meet a comment goal.
We are here to empower you to take a stand and use YOUR voice to speak up for these amazing wild horses.
YOUR voice + HER voice + HIS voice + MY voice = ONE LOUD voice that cannot be silenced.
We have 17 days left to make our comments. We have never asked you “Have you made your comment yet?” We have actually encouraged you to wait to make your comments so that we can share information with you on how to make a SUBSTANTIVE comment for yourself.
We have shared A LOT of information. We have explained A LOT of things. We have (hopefully) shown you reasons to have some hope.
We hope that we have helped you feel “accomplished”.
We hope that you will take ALL of that and put it into a well-crafted comment letter.
We are still here with you!
We will help you write your letter. It is going to be a lot easier now that you understand the language and process we are all embarked upon.
We have samples of what to comment all over our website: https://chwha.org/january-2023-comment-letters/
We have supporting documentation and helpful blog links for you to use to write your comment letter all in one place on our website: https://chwha.org/save-the-trnp-wild-horses/
One thing I will NOT do: is write your comment letter for you.
THAT you have to do for yourself.
These wild horses that call Theodore Roosevelt National Park home have to mean THAT MUCH to you that you can take the time you need to be their voice and speak up for them during this critical time.
We are still here. We are STILL helping.
NOW it is time for YOU to do the work.
As for that cookie strike…
Years have buried that memory deep for me but I smiled as I read her message and remembered. While ALL of the details escape me, I CAN tell you that we had a very large and very popular group of Girl Scout troops. We were rightfully upset that the price of Girl Scout cookies increased WITHOUT giving more money to the young girls doing all the work to sell them.
Again, the details escape me, but I can tell you that we DID NOT leave Girl Scouts.
I can also tell you that we DID NOT compromise.
I can also tell you that the choice was ALWAYS up to the girls. I agreed to stand by them no matter what that choice was and help them make their voices heard.
We plan on fighting just as hard for a genetically viable herd of wild horses to stay IN Theodore Roosevelt National Park!
We WILL NOT compromise on that.
We hope you will continue to fight with us!
As always, that choice is yours.
Thank you for your support and for allowing me to share a small personal piece of me with all of you.