Doug Roach (djroach@IX.NETCOM.COM)
Thu, 5 Dec 1996 09:06:26 -0500
Monty and Byron both referenced the question of Scouts ringing the bell
for the Salvation Army during the holidays. The question apparently is
wether it is appropriate for the boys to do this in uniform. While I am
not aware of what any OFFICIAL BSA policy would be on this, I have to
agree with Byron...ring on.
A short story.
Immediately following Hurricane Andrew's passage through our
neighborhood here in '92, the damage and destruction was such that for
nearly forty-eight hours, no one in our area was able to get out for
food, communication, medicines, etc. Even walking out was difficult due
to the debris and the distances involved to get to functioning
facilities. I will never forget that the first working vehicle we saw
(almost two days after the storm) was not a cop or a road clearing crew,
but a beat up old Chevy station wagon creeping along around downed trees
and roofs, telephone poles and power lines. It was piloted carefully by
a young man and sitting on the open tailgate was an elderly lady who was
passing out homemade sandwiches, quart jugs of water, newspapers, and
smiles to all the people on the street. Pasted in the window of this car
was a large, hand-lettered Salvation Army sign. Seems they had come down
from Hollywood (about 40 miles north of us) and they and their friends
were allowed into the quaranteened area by the local cops. (Even the
Army hadn't arrived at that point.) In addition to the precious water
and meager food, they brought us hope that our circumstance which had by
then become so overwhelming, was recognised and would be addressed by
the kindness of generous strangers. By the end of the first week, the
National Guard, U.S.Army, FEMA, Red Cross, and other local agencies all
poured into the area with heavy equipment, emergency rations, ice,
portable phones and other aid. But I and all on our street will never
forget the vision of one old Chevy going where no one else would or
could at that most desperate of times.
My family finances require that we be judicious about all of the
charities that ask for our donations... particularly at this time of the
year. Since 1992, my charity of choice has been the Salvation Army.
(And the Boy Scouts...:-)
They were the first in, and for many areas of South Florida, they were
the last to leave. If any of the guys in my Troop choose to aid this
organization by ringing the bell at the kettle and choose to do so in
uniform, I will heartily defend their right to do so.
To anyone on the List associated with this fine organization, once
again, my family thanks you for the hope which that old lady, her
companion and your entire selfless group provided to so many.
SA Troop 10, EA Ship 10
South Florida Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City