Boy Scouts to hold hurricane relief effort

Boy Scouts to hold hurricane relief effort

“Do a good turn daily” — the slogan of the Boy Scouts.

In the Scout Law, there is a part that says "help other people at all times". This weekend, some local youth are putting that into action.

On Saturday, scouts will gather across the area to help in a holiday hurricane relief effort. From across six states, Boy Scouts have collected thousands of library books, Christmas presents, school supplies, copier paper, socks and underwear. The “Boy Scout Christmas Convoy” is en route to the eastern North Carolina counties most affected by Hurricane Florence.

Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Wisconsin and North Carolina have been collecting items for over thirty days.

“It is so exciting to me to see how Scouts have responded to the needs in our area," Doug Brown, the Scout Executive for the East Carolina Council said. "This is a perfect demonstration of ‘Scouts doing things that matter’. The skills, values and leadership training that are at the heart of the Boy Scouts of America have all come together to help those affected by the hurricane.”

Scouts in five area counties will come together to work. Locally, they can be found at the Jones County Civic Center at 832 NC Hwy 58 in Trenton and the Kinston High School Cyber Campus at 601 Cunningham Rd in Kinston. Scouts will be there from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in both locations.

The needs lists were developed in conjunction with school districts, county management, United Ways and other agencies.  Final tallies are still being collected but initial reports include 8,000 library books, 4,000 Christmas presents, 2,000 sets of school supplies, 750 packages of socks and underwear and 160 cases of copier paper. Many of these supplies will help libraries and schools in New Bern, Onslow County, Morehead City, Jones County and Lenoir County.

Doug Brown

Doug Brown

"I get giddy when I talk about it," Brown said. "Obviously the hurricane was devastating, but it really hit these five counties the hardest. Scout executives from across the nation kept calling us to see what they can do.  They could collect water, food, clothes, and those were needed, but it is short term help and after 30 to 60 days, people will forget that there still is a need here."

East Carolina Council Boy Scouts have already provided over 4,000 hours of community service setting up evacuation shelters, filling sandbags, removing wet carpet, furniture and appliances from over 100 damaged homes, cleaning up yard debris, emptying more than 21 truckloads of relief supplies and restocking food pantries.

"So, we talked to schools and communities to see what can we do at the 90-plus day mark to fit their needs," Brown said. "Well, that put us in December. Jones County lost two schools. Schools and libraries all across the area lost all their books. That’s something Scouts can do. Then we kept hearing about a need for socks and underwear. That's something we can do. We've heard that some parents are still struggling to get going. They've told their kids there isn't going to be a Christmas. We aren't going to let that happen to kids in our area."

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