RE: Scouting for Food
Fred Rogers (fredrogers@VNET.IBM.COM)
Wed, 16 Dec 1992 09:04:10 EST
Recently, I asked for information about the results of last month's
Scouting for Food drive. I received several responses which indicated
that some councils are doing it in the spring and some not at all.
Mike Walton's response which follows summed up the situation very well.
I agree with Mike and would hate to see Scouting lose this opportunity
to serve the needs of others. I've seen what happened in my own
council last year. They changed the Scouting for Food drive to April.
We had people in our district asking in November when the Scouts would
be around to pick up the food they had. Then in December the food
pantry in our village asked our troop to do a special food collection
for them. We did and also did the council wide one in April. This
year our district decided to do two Scouting for Food drives: one on
the national dates in November and the other on the council date in
April. The volunteers in our district feel that this is too important
and we can't afford to drop the ball. But enough from me. I think
Mike says it all very well.
"Settummanque, the blackeagle (502)782-7992" <waltoml@WKUVX1.BITNET>
>(Please share this with the list, Fred! Thanks!)
>The number of items collected from the Scouting for Food campaign is
>not complete. I was told from External Communications that the number
>is still be calculated but it will be lower than in previous years for
>a number of factors.
>One is that the Scouting For Food campaign has been altered by many
>local Councils as a result of competing with a number of other food
>drives occuring at the same time. There were a lot of complaints that
>many Councils took advantage of the drive as another way to raise
>monies for the local Council (in violation of the agreement between
>the BSA and the United Ways of America, which approved the BSA SME/FOS
>campaign as an additional campaign outside of its general appeal as a
>UW agency); that some volunteers were collecting checks in addition to
>food (which local Councils have been told repeatly that this is a FOOD
>DRIVE, and under NO CONDITIONS WILL MONEY BE COLLECTED FOR ANY REASON,
>EVEN IF THE MONEY WENT TO A LOCAL AGENCY (those that wish to
>contribute cash were given instead the local address for those checks
>to be written/mailed to); and that several agencies used that same
>time period to conduct their own campaigns and did NOT want the
>assistance of the BSA or local units to assist them.
>The other is that several Councils have done their Scouting for Food
>campaigns in the spring or during the winter months, and not on the
>national dates established.
>Finally, as what happened here in Bowling Green, there was no campaign
>because there was no volunteer chair and nobody was willing to put it
>together with the many agencies here that collect and distribute food
>to those that needed it. I asked the DE here about helping out in a
>small way and he laughed and stated "We haven't had a Scouting for
>Food campaign here since I was hired. Our Council don't think that its
>a high priority at this time of the year."
>I thought over that statement, as I sat here in this apartment over
>the weekend. We were to have my children here a while back while
>their mother went to find another place to live. After exhausting all
>of the local governmental agencies (to place the entire household on
>food stamps, to seek places to get emergency food), several large
>churches, and lots of friends, we finally scraped together enough
>food to feed a family of five for three weeks. Then, their mother
>calls and wanted them to come back home, because of legal matters (she
>did not want me to have temporary custody so that we could place them
>in school here) (long story, not related to the main issue here).
>So, we had three weeks of food here for a family of five.
>It is hard to imagine that, as I look at starvation elsewhere, the
>callousness of our people toward our own citizens here. I am lucky. I
>have a little money left over from my previous military service, the
>person living with me is working fulltime, and we have a phone to call
>around and find out about food places. We also have friends. There
>are lots of people, living in the same county as we are, that don't
>have that kind of luck. These are the people that I admire, the ones
>that can make a can of pork and beans, tuna fish, and a half-loaf of
>bread streach over two meals for six or seven people; the ones that
>can go to the supermarket and get several full sacks of groceries on
>a twenty dollar bill and still have enought change left to call a cab
>to get them and their things home.
>Two of the BSA's "five undesirables" are those of hunger and child
>protection. We try to meet those undesirable aspects of American society
>head-on with programs like our Child Protection Programs, the
>lactchkey programs we allow schools and churches to borrow from us,
>and the Scouting for Food drives.
>Unfortunately in lots of communities, we have allowed personal pride,
>partisan "politics" and isolation to keep us from getting rid of one
>of those undesirable aspects. At the same time, we have been literally
>bombarded with images of children, adults, entire families of five (or
>more) being starved to death because of lack of food. We have
>engerized entire battalions of solidiers to leave their families at
>this critical family-bonding time of year to provide comfort and food
>to people half a world away under a great deal of threat and harm.
>The BSA should have insured that the Scout/Council Executives meet
>personally with agency heads of "competing" organizations, to work out
>a plan where each fall (and spring, if need be), Cubs, Scouts,
>Explorers, and their adult and youth leadership nationally would do
>the same things that we are asking of our military: to provide comfort
>and food to those that need it. This personal effort on behalf of
>millions of Scouts and their leaders will serve as a reminder to them
>as to parts of their creeds to "help others" and to "be of service".
>It will expose many of them to people that don't have it as well as
>they do, and make the issue of homelessness and famine more realistic
>to their little eyes than any videotape or television or newspaper or
>series of photojournals can ever do. Don't tell me that they are too
>young to know the real story of hunger in our own country--these are
>the same children, that in 1989, have watched 22 killings in a eight
>hour period in a given day; that have seen movies with explicit
>degourging, dismembering, and bloodletting of body parts--and loved it
>enough to see the same movie again two or more times (one child has
>seen the entire "Nightmare on Elm Street" series seventeen times,
>according to _Time_).
>While it is a noble thing to send people overseas to help others, we
>must insist that we do something right here at home. The BSA had a
>great idea. Its now time that we hold their feet to the fire and
>insist that they carry it out, nationally, everywhere, each year.
>Hunger does not go away.
>I sat in my living room, and looked around. *I* have a home, I have
>food and friends. I can watch TV and see the starvation and make
>silent prayers and say to myself "I'm glad that that's not me there".
>Across town, I am sure that there is a family that is listening to
>their radio, the reporter explaining the weak children, unable to
>concentrate on anything except food; the child crying from pain as a
>result of not being fed regularily; a grown man, having to go to a
>corner of the small clay building they call a home to use the
>......and the mother, listening to the radio, can only hold her own
>weak child in her arms, while trying to hear the radio over the cries
>of her other child.
>"Not a high-priority..." Tell *that* woman, its not a high priority.
>>Has anyone seen any figures about the amount of food collected in last
>>month's Scouting for Food campaign? Just looking for national numbers
>>to go with our local numbers in saying thank you to contributors.
>( Settummanque, the blackeagle... ) )
>((MAJ) Mike L. Walton (among other "endearing" names) ( )
>( (insert good paying job here with lots of benefits!) ___)_ )
>( Phone 502-782-7992 (home) 502-782-7467 (office) |-=-|] )
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