Girl Scout Review

I really didn’t know what to expect. The emails coming from the northern California Girl Scout office were saying that 20,000 tickets had been sold. Officially, the event was sold out. I wasn’t sure what 20,000 Girl Scouts would look like and I really wasn’t sure how we were going to serve tea to that many girls. I shouldn’t have been worried at all.

Loaded with 3 chests filled with ice, two large (think 64 cups) coffee pots, 30 gallons of spring water, and 15 of our 64 oz. iced tea tumblers full of brewed tea (and yes, you really can lay them flat and they won’t leak. All 15 were in my refrigerator overnight on their sides and there was nary a leak!) not to mention 1000s of brochures, business cards, and email list sign-ups, we entered the fairgrounds around 7:30 AM on what was shaping up to be a glorious morning. Some persistence got us parking spots closer to our building. At this point, we were up to blessing number 3 (1 was the non-leaking tea and 2 was that the car started) and we realized this was going to be a very special day.

We busied ourselves with setting up our booth so that we would be ready to greet the first Girl Scouts to pass our table. And thus began our day at the Girl Scouts One Hundred Fun Hundred, an event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Girl Scouts. As you may know, the Girl Scouts have a promise in which each member promises to “serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law.” While much of today’s organization is focused on “girl power” and the advancement of living an environmentally conscientious lifestyle, the event did highlight opportunities for girls to serve people. We were thrilled to be a part of this element of the event.

For a steady 7 1/2 hours, we served tea to thirsty girls and their leaders. Often the queue for our tea was several people deep and many people tried more than one kind of tea. We offered Peach Apricot (black), Cinnamon Chacha (rooibos), and Berry Berry (flavored herbal) as iced teas. Anne, Donna, and I poured the tea and talked mission with people. Lee stayed primarily in the background, brewing the tea in the tight, less-than-ideal “kitchen” we had set up on a card table. Around 1:30, Lee announced that supplies were running low and after seeing the craziness in the parking lots we determined that leaving the event to fetch more supplies was out of the question. We poured smaller samples and began silently praying for the miracle of the widow who came to Elisha with her debts and nothing with which to pay them. Like the widow who was told to keep pouring her oil, we kept pouring our tea. Miraculously, we poured our last sample within minutes of the coordinator telling us it was okay to begin closing our booth. By this point, we had lost count of our blessings, there had been so many.

What a joy it was to see the faces of the tasters (“Wow, that’s really good!”) and to share our mission of sharing tea to save lives with as many people as possible. At times, my tongue got so tied up with the repetition of my schpeel that I am sure I was incoherent. But people were amazed at the idea of selling tea in order to send medical supplies to Africa and there were several who were completely energized by the idea of a product being used to raise funds for a charitable organization. One lady had just returned from a trip to Botswana, while another is preparing for a photography trip she is taking to Kenya. Others have worked with organizations like Doctors Without Borders and knew exactly what we were talking about when we mentioned that there are parts of the world where people may go their whole lives without ever seeing a doctor, without physical healing, not to mention spiritual healing. One gentleman (because there were a lot of dads along, too!) was excited to see us in action; his wife is passionately working to set up a mental health oriented not-for-profit but the funding part is the most daunting. Our model he found interesting and potentially something for his wife to follow.

Then there were the tea drinkers! If seeing is believing in most things, so is tasting when it comes to tea! The ardent tea drinkers were excited to find a quality tea with so many flavor options. Add to that the notion of helping people, our neighbors in Africa, through the consumption of tea and… oh the excitement! We are thrilled to welcome our new Compassion Tea members!

The great take-away from serving something like 3000 servings of tea is that most people are truly compassionate. People do want to help others. Actually going on mission to Africa or other under-served parts of the world is not possible for a great many of us. But that doesn’t mean that our hearts don’t bleed for the injustice, the poverty, the pain of our fellow mankind. It just means we find other ways to help. And hey, if drinking tea can do it, brew up a pot or two! Why not!

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