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Girl Scout helps children in need

Submitted Photo Jade Fenner-Zaste stands with a basket she filled with books for children for distribution through the Ward County Human Service Zone.

A Minot fifth grader’s heart for children has earned her the Girl Scouts’ third-highest award.

Jade Fenner-Zaste will be receiving her Bronze Award in the spring of 2024 at the Honoring Excellence Council Recognition Event.

To achieve the award, Jade put 20 hours toward a project helping the community. Jade has done many things to help out Minot, but one thing that is very close to her heart is making tie blankets and baskets filled with things a foster child may need when entering a foster home.

Her mother, Lisa Fenner, has hosted foster children, so Jade has seen firsthand what children come into a foster home with, and it’s not much. Making the children feel safe in the home is what she sets out to do. She strives to be the best foster care sister she can, always involving the children in the activities she does. So far she has made 20 baskets.

“I like to help people that don’t have what I have and give them what they need,” Jade said.

Jade also collects stuffed animals to give to the Berthold Police Department to give to children. She said she does this to help children whose parents are in a crisis with the police feel better and have something to distract them.

“I just felt it was the right thing to do at the time,” Jade said.

“The hero who has been helping the Police Department is Jade,” said Berthold Police Chief Al Schmidt in a letter supporting Jade’s application for the Bronze Award.

During Schmidt’s 29 years of service, he has encountered thousands of children. Schmidt said during traffic stops children often become frightened, and if their parents are arrested it can be very scary for them.

“All I ever had to give the children were stickers, which did not help calm them down. The plush toys Jade has donated have made an enormous impact. They help with calming distraught children down. I estimate she has helped at least 500 youngsters. It also makes my job easier, as dealing with crying and screaming children can escalate quickly,” Schmidt said.

To say Jade has made an impact on the community and police department is an understatement, he said.

“The smiles she helps bring to children are invaluable. We are honored to call her a friend of the department,” Schmidt said.

Additionally, Jade volunteers at the Matthew 25 Project, where she hangs clothes and helps people find what they are looking for.

She also donates baskets of books to the children through the Ward County Human Service Zone.

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