Boy Scouts Complete 4,000-Mile Cross-Country

NEWS RELEASE

Boy Scouts Complete 4,000-Mile "Good Turn" in Cross-Country Holiday Toy Drive
Troop Delivers 2,600 Gifts and Supplies to Gulf States Hurricane Victims

Boy Scout troops from California, Texas, and Mississippi joined together on Dec. 21 to deliver approximately 2,600 gifts to 300 children and families that were affected by Hurricane Katrina for this year's large-scale "Good Turn" with a cross-country holiday toy drive spanning more than 4,000 miles across the United States.

The 2005 Good Turn project raised money for holiday gifts and much-needed supplies for Hurricane Katrina victims in Biloxi, Miss. This significant action/good deed is part of the Boy Scouts' "Good Turn for America" initiative.

Boy Scouts and Scout leaders from Troop 650 in Alta Loma, Calif.; San Antonio, Texas; and Biloxi collected approximately $25,000 in gifts and supplies from communities and Scouts spanning from California to Mississippi. Gifts and supplies were delivered to more than 300 children and families that were affected by Hurricane Katrina through a gift-giving donation ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 21, in Biloxi. Last year's Good Turn 2004: Happy Holidays to Hurricane Homes raised approximately $23,000 and served hundreds affected by the devastating hurricane season.

During the fall, Troop 650 Scouts worked with Scout leaders and adult volunteers to identify a unique opportunity to serve people in need. They developed fund-raising and grant solicitation plans and presentations, and approached local business leaders to solicit funds for gifts and supplies for hurricane victims. While learning important business skills, the Scouts are able to earn their Citizenship in the Community, Communications, Graphic Arts, Journalism, Photography, and Public Speaking merit badges, among 16 others.

Throughout December, the nation's leading youth organization, the Boy Scouts of America, is recognizing 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. The Troop 650 holiday toy drive is one example of its efforts. Studies show that helping others makes the holidays less stressful for those in need and charitable acts such as donating time or money improve the cardiovascular system, reduce stress levels, improve sleep, and increase overall happiness in the donor .

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. For more information on the BSA, please visit www.scouting.org.

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