Boy Scouts collect 30 tons of food, goods for local charities

jself@heraldonline.comNovember 28, 2012 

York County scouts have collected 30 tons of food and other necessities and 300 coats for more than 20 local charities to give away this holiday season.

The effort was part of the Boy Scouts of America’s annual Scouting for Food drive, in which scouts from across the nation participate.

About 1,000 scouts in 55 Boy Scout troops, Cub Scout packs and the co-ed Venturing crews helped collect the goods. They had help from 574 adult volunteers.

Eleven-year-old Harrison Pratt of Clover say’s it’s a “lot of work,” but worth it, and it’s fun too.

“If you’re with a big old group of boys, you can hang out and talk to each other,” he said.

“It’s kind of rewarding and kind of good to know you’re helping other people if they don’t have food,” said Harry Morgan, a 13-year old from Fort Mill who also helped with the drive.

Nicole Morgan, Harry’s mom, said “the response was amazing” this year from her neighbors in Fort Mill’s Springfield neighborhood, who asked her for reminders when bags in which they put their donations would arrive.

“It kind of makes you feel good when you know people are paying attention and really want to help out,” she said.

Bill Pratt, a Cub Master for Cub Scout Pack 128 in Clover, said there’s a definite impact on the scouts.

“Unfortunately, a lot of children say it’s all about them, it’s all about the moment, all about what’s happening right now,” he said.

The drive and “other good deeds that scouts do” allow them to see “this is going to have an impact past this moment.”

The scouts dropped grocery bags at homes across York County in early November, asking for donations of baby products, nonperishable food, gently used coats and hygiene items, said Maria Overcash, district chairwoman of Scouting for Food.

About a week later, they came back to collect.

Overcash has been working with the program for five years, and in that time, donations have nearly tripled – to nearly 60,000 this year.

Partnering with local businesses, like the Harris Teeter grocery store, which donated 35,000 bags this year, has helped the program flourish.

The scouts enjoy it too, Overcash said.

Collecting the full grocery bags is “like Christmas for them,” she said. “Even though they know it’s not for them, they’re so excited to see what people donated.”

Jamie Self 803-329-4062

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