Scouts donate over 2,510 food items to ARM

Published 9:59 pm Monday, November 21, 2016

Star Photo/Curtis Carden                           Over 2500 items were donated Monday evening by the scout organization.

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
Over 2500 items were donated Monday evening by the scout organization.

The Elizabethton Boy Scouts are no strangers to helping the community.
Working together in the cold weather, members of Troop 516 and Pack 516 met at Assistance and Resources Ministries (ARM) food pantry Monday evening and donated over 2,500 food items to be distributed across the community during their annual food drive event.
“This is one of the biggest donations we receive each year,” said Nikki Jones, ARM executive director. “It’s always exciting to see the kids come in and we appreciate everything they do.”
Forming a partnership that’s lasted three years has also been a joy for the scouts, according to Scoutmaster Ricki Dykes.
“This is the third year I’ve worked with Nikki,” Dykes said. “She’s always great to work with. This is an event our kids always look forward to each year, too. This was mainly our troop but we had some help from our cub scouts. We have about 15 boys in our troop and about 120 in our pack. We’re the only Pack and Troop here in Elizabethton so we bring all of our stuff to ARM.”
The event was held in conjunction with Food City, Dykes added.
“Everyone in the Sequoyah Council takes their bags to Food City, then they distribute them out,” she said. “We worked with the Food City here and Danny Ward was real instrumental, he’s the assistant manager there, by helping us out. We picked up the bags there.”
The Elizabethton Boy Scouts are part of the Sequoyah Council and designated within the Buffalo Mountain District. Dream Moore Ranch in Elizabethton sponsors the group and Dykes credited their assistance.
The chilly weather didn’t deter the scouts as the leaders and students used the front and back entrances of ARM to deliver the items.
“It feels really good to do something like this,” Scout Deon Langston said. “We had to wake up early. It took a lot of time and it was great.”
Noah Harris seconded his scout member’s sentiments.
“This helps feed people,” he said. “And it lights that warm fire in your heart.”
While Dykes added the event was a favorite by the group, Scouts Caleb Napier and Eli Bowers added the enjoyed the chance to give back to the community.
“It’s really great,” Napier said. “We’re able to help other families that can’t afford to buy their Thanksgiving meal.”
Bowers added, “I feel great about this because we’re able to help out other families. I just feel glad to be doing this.”
But while the older members have had experience doing this before, some of the upcoming and coming members also had a field day, including young James Keene, who smiled ear-to-ear saying he enjoyed the event.
James and his sister, Jillian, are in the cub scouts and their mother, Holly, added she loved to see her children work together for this event.
“It was fantastic,” she said. “It’s amazing to see all these kids work together to help out the community.”
Dykes thanked the leaders for all their work and added that she enjoys working with children by helping them develop character and leadership through different activities, like Monday ‘s event.
ARM also has a pair of food drives currently underway, Jones added, orchestrated by Miss Watauga Valley and Carter County Bank’s Pincecrest location.
For more information on how to assist contact ARM at (423) 542-0919.

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