Power of Scouting in Haitian Relief Efforts
The news coming out of Haiti is very grave. So many citizens are missing or are in need of immediate care. “Our hearts and prayers go out to those suffering at this very difficult time,” said BSA International Commissioner Jim Turley.
There is one small beacon of hope. World Scouting has been in contact with a member of the Scouts and Guides of France who happened to be in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, during this horrific earthquake. “This Scouter reports that our brother and sister Scouts are helping in the relief effort. No one should ever underestimate the power of Scouting! ‘Be Prepared’ are not just words on a piece of paper. Rather, they are a call to action,” explained Turley.
Agencies trained in disaster relief are already on the ground in Haiti. Additionally, the U.S. is sending military troops and supplies to further assist rescue and relief efforts. But there are still a number of ways members of the BSA can help in Haiti. The biggest need right now is financial resources to purchase emergency supplies; later it will be to help rebuild once the emergency of the coming days has passed.
The most efficient way to meet immediate needs is through your local American Red Cross Chapter. The BSA has a long-standing relationship with the American Red Cross and has every bit of faith that monetary donations will be put to use in the most effective way.
Also the World Organization of the Scout Movement is accepting donations to meet immediate needs. BSA members may visit their Web site at: http://www.scout.org/en/information_events/news/2010/solidarity_with_haiti .
For rebuilding projects, our members are encouraged to make contributions to the BSA’s World Friendship Fund. All monies collected here will be set aside for future projects requested by the Scout Association of Haiti. To conduct a local fund raising program, contact your local council for World Friendship Fund brochures (No. 130159), posters (No. 22609), coffee can labels (No. 22620), and DVDs (No. 22611).
Roger Schrimp, chairman of the BSA’s International Committee, adds, “At the end of the day, it does not matter how big or small an individual’s contribution is. We all give what we can afford. That’s what we do in Scouting. These are our friends, our fellow Scouts. They need our help. ‘On my honor, I will do my best!’ is a pledge that each of us has taken as a Scout.”