JONESVILLE — Scouts from all around the Laurel District of the Old Hickory Council, Boy Scouts of America gathered food items from homes in the Yadkin Valley Saturday.
For more than 30 years, the Scouting for Food Good Turn Project has been taking place in the Laurel District. Although many Boy Scout packs participated in the food drive, in the Laurel District, which covers Alleghany and Yadkin counties as well as the town of Elkin, donations were gathered on the second Saturday in February for the Second Harvest Food Bank.
“We always drop bags off at homes the first Saturday in February and collect them the second Saturday,” explained Laurel District Director Kevin Cheek. “That gives families time to shop just for the food drive.”
That’s a perfect time for it, according to Tri-County Christian Crisis Ministry Executive Director Heather Macy. “It really helps fill the shelves after the holidays.”
This year on Saturday alone, the Boy Scout Food Drive brought in 10,825 pounds of food with Jonesville accounting for 9,208 pounds of it.
Macy looks forward to the Boy Scout Food Drive every year, and not just because it helps replenish stock at Tri-C, which is benefits from the Second Harvest Food Bank’s services. “It’s exciting to see all these kids excited to give back to the community,” Macy enthused. “The first thing they say is ‘what can I do’ not ‘what do I have to do.’ These parents are raising their kids to serve.”
This may be why the Yadkin Valley Rotary Club chose to co-sponsor the food drive by helping to sort and stock the shelves. President Ken Hon noted, “The message of Rotary is service within the community and beyond. The scouts are doing that today,” as were the Rotary members themselves.
In addition to bringing in the equivalency of 1,859 pounds of food for the food drive, various members were able to give a block of time to help the Boy Scouts throughout the morning. With several members volunteering at Tri-C regularly, they were able to make the process of gathering, weighing and sorting items easier.
Also of significant assistance with the organization of the process Saturday was the Order of the Arrow (OA). “Order of the Arrow is an honor society,” explained Ernie Holcomb. “It’s all about service, community service.”
Alex Whitaker, of Troop 653 in Boonville and an OA member, particularly enjoyed participating in the food drive. “I think it’s very appropriate for our community. It’s a good way to give back,” asserted Whitaker, who also enjoyed the camaraderie of the day. “It is fun seeing other scouts we know [from other troops] and meeting new people.”
“The energy that these kids give off is amazing,” enthused Macy. “It encourages me as a volunteer to see that volunteerism is not a dying art.”
With people like Mike Cummings in the community to serve as an assistant scout master after getting his grandsons involved with Boy Scouts, the community is certain to continue to be served. “It’s a real good program,” stated Cummings. “It teaches young people a lot.”
Although the local Boy Scouts will not make more pick-ups until next year, the community can still contribute to their food drive by dropping donated food items off at Tri-County Christian Crisis Ministry, 440 W. Main St., Jonesville, during regular business hours of Monday 1 to 4 p.m., or Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, making certain that items are designated for the Boy Scouts Food Drive.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.