Scout Troop 2 packs care packages for troops away from home

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

HELENA — Helena’s Scout Troop 2 spent the night Dec. 8 assembling and preparing to ship care packages to military members either overseas or away from home to thank them for their service and provide them with a gift for the holiday.

As part of their service, the scouts learn to respect the sacrifice that service members make by being away from their families during Christmas, and seek to help them out with a variety of items to make their time easier according to Scoutmaster Lane Tolbert.

“We collect non-perishable items that can be anything such as toothpaste and other small items. Some of the more interesting things they like is hot sauce,” Tolbert said.  “We collect them and get people who will send us names of members who are away from home, and we will send them a box that’s loaded up with those things.”

Around 20 scouts gathered at Grace Christian Church with their families as they fellowshipped together while doing a great deed to help bring some Christmas cheer to others.

“We packed 16 boxes of items ranging from toothbrushes to drink mix to hot sauce,” Tolbert said. “We sent some of the boxes to Afghanistan and South Korea.”

The care packages are something that the scout troop regularly does to help instill a sense of service and generosity in the scouts, while also helping put a smile on the face of people away from home.

“This is one of my favorite things that we do because it means a lot to people outside that get the boxes, but the kids are also starting to see what it can mean to them to help someone else,” Tolbert said. “Most of these kids know that they will never hear from these people but every now and then when they do, it means a great deal to them.”

Tolbert said that when they do hear back, they will sometimes get pictures and notes telling them how much the boxes mean, which is very fulfilling for everyone.

Since the boxes have been packed, Assistant Scoutmaster Barry Winn got the information of those who will receive them and will send them out.

“We had about 20 Scouts and their families packing the boxes. Donations were even sent in by neighbors of a Scout who lives in Letson Farms,” Tolbert said. “The generosity was overwhelming.”