By: Rose Sutkowski, Publicity Chair, Constellation District
On November 23, seven Cub Pack 11 Scouts and their parents united to perform a yearly service project at Manoa Community Church in Havertown. This special project provided the volunteers with a meaningful community service experience.
The Scouts and their parents cooked and served dinner to 45 homeless guests in a buffet style arrangement. The meal consisted of hot dogs, chicken soup, potato chips, crackers, cookies, iced tea and lemonade. In addition to dinner, brown bag lunches were also prepared and included a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a snack, a banana and a bottle of water. These lunches were handed out the next day to those who use the church’s resources.
Before and after dinner, the Scouts had the opportunity to socialize with the guests by welcoming them and helping them settle in. Toiletries and clothing were also collected prior to the project and offered to the guests.
Two Scouts who participated were happy to share these personal thoughts:
- “It’s really awesome to hang out with friends and do something good for people,” said Joseph May, a Webelo in Cub Pack 11.
- “I feel good because it’s the right thing to do and it’s fun,” said Josh Layson, a Webelo in Cub Pack 11.
Manoa Community Church partners with 11 other local churches and Connect by Night to serve the homeless population for the entire year. Individuals who are in need of support are brought to the churches by Connect by Night, an emergency shelter that operates in partnership with faith communities in Delaware County. This organization transports up to 50 Delaware County residents to a host church every night.
Each November, Manoa Community Church gives guests a warm, dry place to sleep, nutritious meals, clothing, personal hygiene items and a fully catered Thanksgiving meal. Bill Viscusi, ruling elder, has been hosting the homeless at his Church for 12 of the 20 years that it has been a part of this ministry outreach. “This Pack enjoys providing the basic necessities desperately needed by those living on the street and it’s become part of their holiday giving, “ said Viscusi.
Scouting is associated with volunteering and giving back to the community. Cooking meals and preparing the brown bag lunches was a unique experience for Scouts to give back and make a difference. The guests also appreciated the hospitality they received.
If your unit is interested in helping one of the churches in this network, please contact Bill Viscusi at firstname.lastname@example.org.