Boy Scouts of America Recognizes National Stress-Free Family Holiday Month

NEWS RELEASE

BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA RECOGNIZES STRESS-FREE FAMILY HOLIDAY MONTH
Nation's Leading Youth Organization Encourages Service to Reduce Stress During Holidays

This December, the nation's leading youth organization, the Boy Scouts of America, recognizes National Stress-Free Family Holiday Month by continuing its commitment to serving those in need. As part of its Good Turn for America initiative, the BSA urges Americans to join its efforts toward community service through "Good Turns," offering simple ways to give back during the holidays. Helping others makes the holidays less stressful for those in need, and studies show that charitable acts such as donating time or money improve the cardiovascular system, reduce stress levels, improve sleep, and increase overall happiness in the donor .

"Our vision is to serve America's communities and families through our values-based programs," said Roy L. Williams, Chief Scout Executive of the BSA. "This is why it is so important to recognize National Stress-Free Family Holiday Month this December. We [the BSA] strive to Do a Good Turn Daily, serving our communities and fostering a sense of good will toward others, and we urge all Americans to do the same to make the holidays less stressful and more enjoyable in their communities."

According to the Stress Institute, philanthropy is one of the top 10 ways to reduce stress. The BSA offers a variety of ways to consider giving back this holiday season:

  • American Red Cross: The holidays are always difficult times for blood donation. As people get busy with plans, parties, and preparation, blood donation appointments are often forgotten. Yet the need for blood remains constant and urgent.
  • Habitat for Humanity: What better gift to give at the holidays than for a family to have a home of their own?
  • Salvation Army: Donate your loose change to Salvation Army bell ringers at your local store or personally select toys and clothes for a specific child with the organization's Angel Tree Christmas program.

One example of Scouts honoring National Stress-Free Family Holiday Month and "doing a Good Turn for America" is Good Turn 2005: Merry Christmassissippi, a cross-country holiday toy drive spanning more than 4,000 miles across the United States. Boy Scouts and Scout leaders from Troop 650 in Alta Loma, California; San Antonio, Texas; and Biloxi, Mississippi; have joined together with a goal to collect more than $25,000 in gifts and supplies to be delivered to more than 300 children and families that were affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Last year's Good Turn 2004: Happy Holidays to Hurricane Homes raised approximately $23,000 and served hundreds affected by the devastating hurricane season.

Each month, Boy Scout councils across the United States serve Americans through the Good Turn for America initiative, which encourages Scouts to "Do a Good Turn Daily" through a variety of community service projects. Good Turn for America is a collaboration with The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, and thousands of other community organizations that focuses the power of volunteerism on important community issues such as hunger, shelter, and health. Started in 2004, Good Turn for America has generated more than 1.8 million hours of service to date.

Since its inception, the BSA has trained young people in citizenship, service, and leadership to better serve America's communities and families through its quality, values-based program. In the past 95 years, the nearly 110 million members of Scouting have provided countless hours of service. The more than 1.7 million Eagle Scouts alone have provided an estimated 36 million hours of service through their Eagle projects. Good Turn for America aims to make a substantial positive impact on the nation by providing millions of volunteer hours to benefit those in need. More information about service and philanthropic leadership is available from the BSA at www.goodturnforamerica.org.

Serving nearly 4.9 million young people between 7 and 20 years of age with more than 300 councils throughout the United States and its territories, the Boy Scouts of America is the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.

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