Like dedicated volunteers in every organization, Scouters can get tunnel vision. We’re so used to doing things our way that we need on occasion to get shaken up.
Take food drives. In many councils, Scouting for Food is the gold standard. Over a couple of weekends, units canvass their neighborhoods and collect prodigious amounts of canned goods for local food pantries.
Scouting for Food is a great project, but it’s not the only way your unit can attack the problem of food insecurity. A couple of weeks ago, for example, I joined our church’s confirmation class for a very different kind of food project, one that’s perhaps more appropriate for this long, cold winter.
One Saturday, we spent a couple of hours packing food for a charity called Kids Against Hunger, which has satellites around the United States and Canada. Teams of 11 kids and chaperones formed assembly lines to put together meal kits consisting of rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables, and vitamin and mineral powder. When combined with water, each kit will serve six children.
That day, we packed enough food to feed 12,000 people. Although some of the food stays at home, most goes overseas. In fact, the food our kids packed during a previous event went to the Philippines immediately after Typhoon Haiyan.
What innovative service projects has your unit done? Feel free to post ideas in the comments section below.