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Scouts collect food in annual drive

November 15, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

FUNKSTOWN - Daniel Cook is only 8 years old, but he says it makes him feel good to help people who don't have enough to eat.

"I've never really been hungry. I've always had a refrigerator to go to," Daniel said.

A member of Cub Scout Pack 23, Daniel and his fellow Scouts distributed empty bags to homes in the Funkstown town limits. A week later, the Scouts went back to collect the bags, which had been filled with food items.

In a classic win-win situation, the pack collected nearly 500 items of nonperishable food during the annual pre-Thanksgiving Day project.

The effort not only fills the needs of individuals and families who don't have enough to eat, it creates a sense of understanding and compassion in the youngsters who collect the food, according to their Scout leaders.

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Karen Smith has been Cubmaster of the pack for about two months. It is sponsored by the Funkstown American Legion and meets weekly at St. Paul's Lutheran Church. Nina and Gerry Volz and Smith's husband, Robert, assist in the operation of the pack.

"The food drive is a national Boy Scout event," said Nina Volz. But this year, the outcome is being handled a little differently.

Darrell Layman, pastor of St. Paul's, said that in years past, the food collected by the pack went to Food Resources Inc. "This year it will go in our church's Thanksgiving food baskets," Layman said.

He said the new procedure will allow St. Paul's to deal with more people who need help with the basic food needs in their homes.

Door hangers were first distributed through the town, giving homeowners notice that the food drive was approaching. The pack provided the bags and instructions on what could be donated.

At the end of October, the boys went back to the homes, retrieved the bags of food and put them in a waiting pickup truck. "It took about an hour," Karen Smith said.

Aaron Lighter, 8, said he was one of the Scouts who walked around Funkstown picking up the food that Saturday. "It was a neat experience," he said.

Smith and her husband have three sons, all Scouts. A military family, they were most recently in Colorado, where they were also involved in Scouting.

The pack members were just starting to work on their family trees during a recent meeting. They were going to take them home to get their parents to help them identify their relatives.

In order to join the pack, boys must be in grades one through five.

The pack, which has about 35 members, meets every Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the church.

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