Scouts hold uniform distribution day

Photo by Chuck Mahaleris

by Chuck Mahaleris

Dozens of youth from across central Maine came to the Goodwill Store, in Waterville, on September 27, for the Scout Uniform Bank. The annual event is a way to assist families during these difficult financial times. Scouts who attended the event left with a gently-used uniform shirt, pants, neckerchief, hat and even patches. Youth who had outgrown their uniform could trade theirs in for another. Sabrina Garfield, of Winslow, is the Cubmaster of Winslow Pack #445.

Winslow Cub Scout Pack #445 Cubmaster Sabrina Garfield explained that this uniform bank is truly needed during these challenging economic times. (photos by Chuck Mahaleris)

“Scouting is a great experience,” she said. “I do a lot of activities with my kids but it is nice to do these activities with other people as well. They have made a lot of friends in Scouting.” Garfield said that there were several families in her pack that would benefit from the uniform bank. “It is really helpful,” she said. “The prices of everything is going up and this is a tremendous help to a lot of people.”

Throughout the year, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England collects Scouting uniform items that are donated at its various locations. Chris Bernier, a member of the Kennebec Valley District Scouting Committee from Winslow, receives these items, sorts them and prepares them for the annual uniform bank. Areli Watkins, of Palmyra, he is a third grader who is homeschooled. Areli said he liked this uniform event and received a new hat, shirt, neckerchief and other items.

“This is great,” he said. He recently joined Cub Scout Pack #428, in Pittsfield, but had a fun time at that first meeting where he learned how to cook a hamburger and was happy to have a uniform to wear for the rest of the meetings. Cyndi Davis, of Oakland, has been volunteering at several of these uniform banks. “We are helping Scouts get fitted out so they fit in,” Davis said. “This makes it a level playing field. Every scout has the same uniform. We like to treat every kid the same.”

Wyatt Collins is a Scout from Fairfield and volunteered to help at the uniform bank. He appreciated all the food people gave to help support the Scouting for Food drive. (photos by Chuck Mahaleris)

There were several volunteers from Winslow, Oakland, Belgrade, Sidney, Augusta, and Fairfield. Wyatt Collins of Fairfield is a Tenderfoot Scout in Troop 433. As people came in to look at uniforms, they turned in food for the Scouting for Food Drive. Wyatt helped with the collection of those food items. “It is important to help other people,” Wyatt said. “It is important for Scouts to help in their community.”

Bernier praised the relationship Scouting has built with Goodwill Industries. “There is a lot of good that happens in one night but it is thanks to a year-long effort by Goodwill Industries and we are very grateful for their partnership.”

Cyndi Davis is a Scouting volunteer from Oakland and enjoys giving her time in Scouting and in the Order of the Arrow to help improve the lives of others. (photos by Chuck Mahaleris)











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