Scouting's participation in Andrew Relief Efforts
(no name) ((no email))
Thu, 3 Sep 1992 13:32:11 CDT
I am wondering if anyone knows the number or amount of support the BSA is
providing for Hurricane victims in either Florida or Louisiana.
The reason why I am wondering is a common-sense one, but please let me offer
some background as to this inquiry.
I am getting ready to do a Eagle Scout Court of Honor speech and I wanted to
include things of a more recent nature that Scouting prepares a person for.
I have called the Gulf Ridge and Gulf Coast Councils and had wanted to talk with
someone there about what the Council was doing. When I called, the phone lines
were down and when I finally got someone in the Fort Myers council, they could
not tell me anything except that he was sure that many Troops were helping.
That evening, was the evening before the President announced he was sending
troops into the Florida areas hardest hit. As I watched CNN (I should get
stock in the "network of record"), I saw person after person tell about the
living conditions and how they are not being fed and have went hungry. I
thought to myself "What has the BSA done about this??"
The reason why I asked that question to myself, is as many of you know, the BSA
has a goal to assist in the wiping out of many of our nation's "undesirables".
Hunger was one of them and as I saw these people stand there, tears streaming
down their faces and the looks of despiration and despair, I wondered what
happened to all of that food we collected for the "Scouting for Food" drives in
many of our local communities?? Could we do a similiar thing in this extreme
Of course, I know where that food went to. It went to feed people in many other
communities of our nation that have went for weeks without food. It went to
food closets so that when people are wiped out by fire or tornado, that there's
at least SOMETHING that they can eat, even if its old stale peanut butter and
Those faces bothered me even as I slept. I woke the next morning (the morning of
my job interview) in a terrible mood. I felt that as a BSA volunteer, someone th
at is supposed to "help other people at all times" useless and spent. I felt
that we should be doing something, but what???
After my job interview, I came back home here and again was greeted by the same
faces when I turned on the set. The President called in the troops, and they
were marching off the plane ramp time and time again that afternoon. So I
called again to both council offices and still got no answer. "MAYBE", I
thought, "they are mobilizing the Council like they used to do back in the 50s
and 60s, and earlier for local emergencies!"
Then the finger pointing started. Then the people still confused about who's
So, I am still wondering. What is the BSA doing there? Are we watching, like
everyone else, as a small group of people are trying to put back into order
a large segment of population? Are we better off giving monies to the Red Cross,
and as Jessica said this morning, "so that we can pay salaries and expenses of
professionals that are not even there?" (the Kingdom of Kuwait gave 10 million
dollars to the ARC this morning, according to CNN) We can't give clothing,
because we are unsure that it will reach there (one of the most tear-at-your-
heart stories in all of this is the "hijacking" of one of the relief trucks
in North Carolina, I believe it was).
The BSA used to be one of the "point agencies" a long time ago. I can remember
reading about centers set up by entire districts to house, feed and provide
recreation for the people from the floods along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers
a while back. It would be a true shame that today, we're reduced to simply
writing a check and sending it to relief agencies.
There are many agencies that are suggesting that we stay at home, or else I
would have been on my way southward. They are saying that with the mess of
disorganization and fractured program delivery, that what is not needed are
more hands but more direction. I disagree, but then, I am sitting here in
Kentucky. You would think that they would know best.
In the meantime, I continue to pray and hope that Scouts and Scouters there
are taken care of by others and that they continue to have a Scouting program
there in both areas. At the same time, I am still looking for Scouts and
Scouter participation, representing the BSA, to help stop the misery and tp
help provide confort for families and the communities affected.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City