Councils coordinate donations, lead initiatives during COVID-19 pandemic

Chickasaw Council Executive Richard Fisher gives blood.

The need for lifesaving blood doesn’t stop during a pandemic.

Scouters in the Chickasaw Council in Tennessee and Yawgoog Scout Reservation in Rhode Island have been doing their parts to facilitate donations from healthy donors. Chickasaw Council partnered with the nonprofit Vitalant for a donation day at the council office. A single blood donation can potentially save up to three lives. With 19 units of blood collected that day, that’s potentially 57 lives saved from six hours of work.

At Camp Yawgoog, blood drive days have been part of an ongoing summer effort there for the last several years. To date, 1,753 pints have been donated at the camp — that’s up to 5,259 people impacted! With the COVID-19 crisis in mind, the camp added donation days this spring. Camp directors anticipate hitting the 2,000-mark this summer, if not sooner.

Blood drives are just one way Scouters are helping others.

A blood drive bus at Yawgoog Scout Reservation in Rhode Island.

Help other people at all times

The Ozark Trails Council in Missouri donated more than 30,000 gloves to CoxHealth, a six-hospital healthcare system based in Springfield, Mo. The gloves originally were going to be used at camp, but council directors decided the hospitals could use them now.

“Scouts are taught to always Be Prepared and always live by the Scout Oath and Law,” says Kurtis Grothoff, council development director. “Our council is doing its part to live by the words we teach and preach.”

In Texas’ Golden Spread Council, Scouters in the Golden Eagle District organized an effort to participate in the city’s “All In Amarillo” initiative, which called on residents to place yellow items in their yards or windows in support of first responders. Scouters came up with a yard sign and poster contest for Scouts to participate in.

These were just a few callouts of the many efforts councils are doing during the coronavirus pandemic on top of offering online merit badge classes and facilitating virtual campouts. If your council, district or unit is working on a great project, we’d love to highlight it. Remember, in whatever you do, to follow local and state health guidelines. Send us information on your projects here.

Scouters with the Ozark Trails Council in Missouri donate medical gloves.

About Michael Freeman 446 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is an associate editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines.