Scouts offer help and hope to homeless children
As another school year begins, 37 homeless children in Massachusetts are sporting brand new backpacks filled with age appropriate school supplies and books, thanks to Medfield Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, who teamed up to collect, pack and deliver the much-needed items to Schools on Wheels, a non-profit organization aimed at improving educational opportunities for homeless children, K-12.
The scouts collected supplies through their “Scouting for School Supplies” drive, run by Medfield Girl Scout adult volunteer guide, Katherine Lyons, late last spring through summer. Together with Boy Scout Troop 89, several girls from Medfield Girl Scout Troop 74900 then sorted the supplies and delivered the backpacks to Schools on Wheels on August 21, 2012.
Besides the well-stocked backpacks, the scouts also provided Schools on Wheels with several cartons of extra supplies. And, thanks to the generosity of Park Street Books owner Jim James, 30 homeless children now have brand new dictionaries and many more have new books to read.
Passion for the plight of these homeless children didn’t stop here. Medfield Girl Scout Troop 65085 wrote personal letters to be inserted in the backpacks for the homeless children. Noted the troop’s adult volunteer guide, Jeanette Hasapidis, “my troop loved this project and it was really eye-opening for them to learn there were kids their age that were so disadvantaged. The girls want to do as much as they can for homeless kids again next year.” Adding to the kindness was Medfield Girl Scout Caroline Callahan, who celebrated her 9th birthday last July by collecting school supplies for the homeless children in lieu of birthday gifts.
“This project inspired a lot of emotion,” said Sue Turner, an adult volunteer guide with Medfield Girl Scout Troop 74900, “from compassion to gratitude.” As evidence, Tiffany Clark, an outreach worker for REACH, a domestic violence shelter in Waltham, MA, burst into tears when she was able to collect backpacks for all 24 kids in need at her shelter – just minutes after the Medfield Scouts delivered the goods to Schools on Wheels.
The Scouting for School Supplies project, part of Medfield Girl Scout Troop 74900’s “Share our Service Saturdays” program, made a lasting impression on troop members. Several girls reported a much better understanding of homelessness and how it impacts kids their age. All in all said Turner, the project was “a wonderful benefit to the community and the homeless kids who really needed the help.”