Preventing Bullying by Teaching Respect, Partnering with IBM

Guest Blog by Doris Gonzalez, Director, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs for the Americas, IBM. Originally posted October 24, 2016.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that one in three students says they have been verbally or socially bullied in school. The reasons for the bullying are as varied as the hurtful comments that are hurled – words intended to make someone feel that they don’t belong.

This month, during National Bullying Prevention Month, IBM is kicking off a global anti-bullying initiative to help IBM volunteers and others present “Teaching Respect” materials to schools, community centers and nonprofit organizations that serve students ages 14 to 18. It’s one of the ways we hope to help young people better understand the importance of self-acceptance and respecting – and celebrating – differences.

At IBM, we embrace our diversity and value every individual. We know that diversity, varied perspectives and experiences, and safe and accepting environments are essential to innovation. By encouraging and supporting diversity, we enable a more enriching work environment that gives rise to stronger business outcomes.

GLSEN, a national education organization focused on ensuring safe and culturally affirming schools for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (and/or questioning)) students, developed the Teaching Respect materials at IBM’s request. The program rolls out today and tomorrow in Orlando, Florida, where the LGBTQ and Hispanic communities are still healing after the June 12th Pulse nightclub mass shooting.

We will hold volunteer events at Orlando’s Boone High School and other locations where students were impacted by the shooting, and with the Girl Scouts of Citrus, where participants will earn a “respect” patch for their Girl Scout sash. Subsequently, our Teaching Respect activities – enabled by IBM volunteers through IBM’s On Demand Community – will take place in communities around the world.

If these activities are able to help even one student to look in the mirror and appreciate themselves for who they are, our efforts are well worth the investment of time and expertise of our volunteers.

Teaching Respect to Become my superSELF, an anti-bullying event for Girl Scouts, takes place Wednesday, October 26 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Plaza Live in Orlando. Girls in grades 6-12 are invited to attend. Registration ends Wednesday at noon and costs only $1 per person. Register now.


Smile More with AmazonSmile!

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-10-38-02-pmDid you know that Girl Scouts of Citrus Council has a unique AmazonSmile link that makes it easier for you to support our mission, without ever leaving your couch or writing a check?

What is Girl Scouts of Citrus’s unique link?

Click it! Save it! Share it!

What is AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Girl Scouts of Citrus every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Girl Scouts.

How do I shop at AmazonSmile?
To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.

Which products on AmazonSmile are eligible for charitable donations?
Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscription renewals are not currently eligible.

Can I use my existing account on AmazonSmile?
Yes, you use the same account on and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.

How do I select Girl Scouts of Citrus as my charitable organization when shopping on AmazonSmile?
On your first visit to AmazonSmile (, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation.

Is there an easier way to find Girl Scouts of Citrus on AmazonSmile?
Yes. Just click here.

Do I have to click on Girl Scouts of Citrus’s AmazonSmile link every time I shop?
No. Once you select your organization, Girl Scouts of Citrus will receive 0.5% of the price of all your eligible purchases, regardless of whether you use the unique AmazonSmile link to return to the site. Only purchases made at are eligible for donations.

Hurricane Clean-up at Mah-Kah-Wee Program Center


Calling all Volunteers! On Saturday, October 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., we will be at Mah-Kah-Wee Program Center, cleaning up the debris from Hurricane Matthew. Our Property Team has been cleaning up all week but we still need help.

Lunch will be provided. Please bring bug spray, gloves, water bottles and wear closed toe/heel shoes. Plan to arrive by 10 a.m. and check in with Ranger John in the parking lot. After 10:30, the gate will need to be locked due to an ongoing program on the property.

If you are available to come out during that time please, email so we can plan accordingly.

Thank you to the volunteers, girls and staff that helped with the cleanup on Monday at Riverpoint. It could not have been done without you!

Hurricane Clean-up at Riverpoint Program Center

Calling all Volunteers!


On Monday, October 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., we will be at Riverpoint Program Center, cleaning up the massive amounts of debris from Hurricane Matthew. Our Property Team will be assembling in the morning to start the cleanup. We will provide pizza for lunch and there will be water bottles available.

If you are available to come out during that time, please email Theresa Rivera at, so we can plan accordingly. At this time we just need people to help get the property cleaned up.

Please bring bug spray, gloves and wear closed toe/heel shoes. Everyone will need to park outside along the gate. We will be announcing a clean-up day for Mah-Kah-Wee Program Center soon.

As always, thank you to all our volunteers and staff that have reached out to us about helping with this process.

International Day of the Girl – October 11


For over 100 years, Girl Scouts of the USA has empowered girls to develop leadership skills for the good of their communities and our world. Still, even in 2016, many girls across the globe are not fulfilling their potential because they simply don’t have opportunities to lead. In fact, 62 million girls worldwide don’t have access to education, let alone leadership programming like that offered by Girl Scouts.

In support of International Day of the Girl on Tuesday, October 11, 2016, Girl Scouts of the USA will be sponsoring two Twitter chats next week.

From 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. ET on Monday, October 10—our Day of Action in advance of International Day of the Girl—Girl Scouts of the USA will sponsor a Twitter chat encouraging each participant to embrace her inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ and to share a photo showing her taking the lead like a Girl Scout. Join us in our day of action by participating in the Twitter chat.

Then, on Tuesday, October 11, Girl Scouts of the USA will host a second Twitter chat focusing on girls’ leadership from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. We hope you can join this conversation as we explore and promote girls’ leadership on the International Day of the Girl.


Severe Weather Closings

In anticipation of the impending weather of Hurricane Matthew, the safety and well-being of our girls, volunteers, and staff is our top priority.

Council business offices will be closed this Thursday, October 6 through Sunday, October 9. No staff will be onsite at any Citrus Council locations (including business offices and camp/program/scouthouse properties) during this time frame. However, some staff will remain available online during Thursday business hours.

All camp and outdoor activities taking place at Citrus Council properties are canceled Thursday through Sunday.

Please direct questions to and someone will respond, as they are able. We are committed to processing requests as quickly as possible. In addition, stay tuned to our facebook page for updates and announcements.

We ask that everyone stay as safe as possible during the storm. If you are in an ordered evacuation zone, please comply and evacuate. We need you safe and healthy – to continue building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place!

Girl Scouts Take Over the Airwaves at Cox Media

Troop 008 recently took over the airwaves, along with Girl Scouts of Citrus’s own VP of Membership & Marketing, Emiko Beck. The Cox Radio public affairs show is hosted by Beth Perrell, also the troop’s Co-Leader. The interview aired on 5 of Cox Media’s six central Florida Cox stations (WDBO, ESPN-Orlando, WWKA, WPYO, WMMO, WWKA.)


Hazel, Emily, Issie, Alexis and Faith talked about all of their memories throughout different Girl Scout adventures, and how Girl Scouts is a place to be with your friends, relax, and do whatever YOU want to do. They encouraged all girls – Daisies to teens – to join Girl Scouts today.

Beth and Maria, Co-Leaders for Troop 008, highlighted that Girl Scouts gives their daughters ways to give back to the community, and provides special mother-daughter time that they can’t get anywhere else. The girls chimed in to remind them that dads are an important part of the Girl Scout equation too, helping teach specific skills and often driving and chaperoning for activities. 


The best part of the entire gig? The girls took the lead! Plus, they got a behind-the-scenes look at the radio studio and the production process for a news interview. It’s all part of earning their Cadette Public Speaker badge. Way to go, girls!