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An Inspiring Long-Distance Friendship

Misfortune brought them together, but shared values and interests helped their friendship blossom.

Pat Allen (left) with her friend Tina Mitchell

“Be a sister to every Girl Scout.” That’s the last line of the Girl Scout Law but, to me, the most important one. It’s what led me to Tina Mitchell.

Back in 2005 I was the leader of my fifth grader’s troop here in Larchmont, New York. When Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, the girls asked what we could do for our sisters down South.

I signed us up for a program called Adopt-a-Troop. We were matched with Tina and her sixth graders from Marrero, Louisiana.

I e-mailed her right away: “How can we help?”

Tina said they needed school supplies, holiday presents and, most of all, encouragement. As our girls began to write each other, so did Tina and I.

“I wouldn’t make it without prayer,” she told me.

“My faith is my anchor too!” I responded. That wasn’t all we had in common. We were both only children, volunteers at church and enthusiastic bargain hunters.

Tina and I have been close ever since. I visited her in New Orleans in 2009, and she came up to see me this past summer.

In 2012, when Superstorm Sandy hit my area, Tina and her girls stepped right up to help–by donating dozens of gift cards to a New York church.

No matter what storms we face, I know Tina and I will always be there for each other. Just like sisters.

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