A local Girl Scout is making sure first responders know they’re appreciated, dedicating months of her life to do so.
Using a needle and a thread, she created works of art to constantly remind police and firefighters what they mean to the community.
“This is the firefighter quilt. This is actually pretty close to what it came out as,” said Samantha Foist.
Piece by piece, 14-year-old Foist of Rio Rancho stitched together two quilts.
“I’ve never made one before now,” said Foist.
She made one for the Rio Rancho Fire Department and another for the Rio Rancho Police Department.
“I wanted to challenge myself and I thought that would be a nice way to incorporate some of the easy identifications of a police officer and a firefighter,” said Foist.
It was an undertaking that earned her the Girl Scout Silver Award, and it was no easy project.
It took her 90 hours to complete.
“I had to cut out every single square and then sew it on every little side,” said Foist.
The award requires 50 hours of work on a project, but for Foist, it clearly was not about meeting the minimum.
“When she puts her mind to something, she sees it all the way through,” said her father Jason Foist.
Foist says the idea for the quilts came to her when she was researching topics for the project.
She learned that many law enforcement officers leave the job because they do not feel appreciated.
“I thought maybe they’re forgotten sometimes so I should help them, too,” said Foist.
Foist recently presented the quilts to the police and fire departments.
They now hang at each department headquarters.
She hopes kids in her community will see these and be inspired to do the same.
“So other kids can see how big of a difference they can make so they can get in the community themselves and start helping others,” said Foist.
Foist will receive the Silver Award at a ceremony in November.
The next step for Foist is to eventually win the Girl Scout Gold Award, which requires over a hundred hours on a community project.
She says it is the highest award available.