LEMONT – Lemont resident Morgan Rex learned that the HOPE Closet at River Valley School needed reorganizing while doing volunteer work with the Lemont Juniorettes.
She said the clothes always were scattered and the closet had an ineffective organizational structure.
Rex chose to restore the HOPE (Helping Other People Everyday) Closet as her Girl Scout Gold Award project. The HOPE Closet is the Hope and Friendship Foundation’s clothing closet for underprivileged families. She received the award, the organization’s highest honor, during a ceremony June 8.
Rex, who is entering her second year of college, completed the project during her senior year of high school.
“It was a perfect opportunity to give back to the community and something that would have a lasting impact and continue even after I left for college,” she said.
Rex bought new shelving, organized a clothing drive with the help of a fourth grade Girl Scout troop and reorganized the closet to make it user-friendly and sustainable. To fund the project, she reached out to local businesses and clubs.
“It really helped it out a lot,” said Kelley Van Hecke, adviser to the Lemont Juniorettes. “It had been all bins in the closet with one wall of hangers. It was her idea to reorganize to use more hanging space.”
Van Hecke said Rex added a mirror, replaced the step ladder, put replaceable labels on the clothing bins and helped organize the hanging clothing by size.
Though Rex has earned the Girl Scout’s highest honor, she said Scouting will continue to be a part of her life. As an adult, she hopes to be a troop leader for her own children someday.
Rex is studying for a degree in biomedical engineering and wants to make medical devices that improve the quality of life of patients.
For Rex, earning the Gold Award is something that will help her in her career.
“It really means that I know that I have a capacity to do bigger and better things within the larger community in the future,” she said. “I learned a lot of skills like networking that will be very beneficial in my future career.”