Having recently donated dozens of toiletries to victims of domestic violence, Canyon Crest Academy freshman Devin Jansen successfully completed her Girl Scout Silver Award. The Girl Scout Silver Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn.
“Domestic violence is a huge problem in the community,” said 14-year-old Devin, who lives in Carmel Valley. “We should do whatever we can to help stop it.”
In 2014, there were 16,897 domestic violence incidents reported to law enforcement in San Diego County, a 2 percent increase from the prior year, according to SANDAG.
In an effort to raise awareness about domestic violence and support the victims, Devin started working on her Girl Scout Silver Award project two years ago, while she was still at Carmel Valley Middle School.
As the founder of Confident Chicks, a middle school club that promoted self-confidence, she worked with the club in seventh and eighth grades to collect toiletries she would later donate to Becky’s House.
More recently, Devin held a drive Aug. 24 at Sage Canyon School’s park, where she collected shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion and other toiletries. She promoted the drive through Nextdoor, a social network for neighborhood communities.
“I was so shocked,” said Devin, who completed 50 hours of work on the project. “I got a lot of responses. A lot of people were really interested and wanted to help out.”
Devin decided she would donate to Becky’s House after researching local programs for victims of domestic violence.
YWCA of San Diego County’s Becky’s House domestic violence programs offer a safe haven for women, men and children to overcome trauma, improve their economic status, and ultimately achieve self-sufficiency. The programs include a 24-hour domestic violence hotline, an emergency shelter and multiple transitional housing communities along with supportive services.
“I wanted to help people in my community,” Devin said. “I noticed an immediate demand for toiletries. Since they’re leaving in such a hurry, the women and children don’t have time to grab the necessities. I think the toiletries will help them create a healthy lifestyle.”
Devin dropped off her collected donations at Becky’s House on Sept. 1. She said the estimated retail value of the donation was $300.
“The feeling of helping those women and children start a better life felt really good,” Devin said. “I feel really grateful for all that I have, and I felt really lucky to be able to help these women and children.”
For more about Becky’s House, visit www.ywcasandiego.org/get-help/beckys-house.html.