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Colonial District, National Capital Area Council, BSA


Attention Colonial District Scouters:

1998 Scouting for Food Update! Your Scouting For Food (S4F) Committee has been hard at work since the September Roundtable making arrangements and working out details on the Colonial District's inaugural district-wide service project--the annual food drive known as Scouting for Food. S4F vets from previous years in the George Washington District won't find too many changes this year.

To recap how it works for our new colleagues--your scouts will be distributing bags to every home in their neighborhoods on Saturday, November 7. Then, on Saturday, November 14, your scouts will return to the same neighborhoods and pick up bags (filled with food, we hope) from the same homes. Your unit will then collect the bags at your chartered organization, and bring them to one of 5 area food banks in the Colonial District.

Several tips to boost donations:

Do some advance publicity for the event. This might include making announcements during church services (or putting an announcement in the church bulletin); talking to neighborhood correspondents for local papers (neighborhood weeklies, etc.); getting the project mentioned in civic association newsletters; posting announcements on bulletin boards in public buildings such as rec or community centers and grocery stores; and of course, word of mouth.

On distribution day, November 7, enclose a flyer in each bag explaining the project (a flyer which you can copy or modify as you like will be in your RT folders on October 14). Have your scouts work in pairs, and don't just leave the bags on door knobs. Instead, knock on each door when you distribute bags (scouts should not go into the houses, however). These techniques have proven to be effective in increasing total return.

Then, on pickup day, knock on doors where a bag is not hung outside. If the person says he has lost the bag, have some extras so you can give him one on the spot!

Of course, be aware of what time it is. Someone's not going to appreciate being awakened at 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday. It would be best to wait until 9:00 a.m. to do any door-knocking. Also, look for signals that no one's up yet--for example, is the Saturday newspaper still laying on the doorstep?

Bags will be available at Colonial District Roundtable on October 14, being held at Aldersgate Methodist Church on at the corner of Collingwood and Ft. Hunt Roads, about five miles south of Alexandria. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOUR UNIT HAVE A REPRESENTATIVE PRESENT AT THAT ROUNDTABLE. Signups will be taken, of course, and we will work out boundaries with you on the area your unit will collect from. You will also be picking up your bags there; we have budgeted approximately 25 bags per scout.. In general, your unit will work the same area as in previous years (keeping in mind that some adjustments might be necessary since we are encouraging all units to participate this year and so boundaries might change a little bit in some cases).

Here are the locations where you can drop food off once your unit has finished collecting it. All have been confirmed, and are most eager to receive your donations.

First Christian Church
2723 King Street
Alexandria, VA

United Community Ministries
c/o Penn Daw Fire Station
6624 Hulvey Terrace (across from Beacon Mall on Richmond Hwy)
Alexandria, VA

Carpenters Shelter
802 North Henry Street
Alexandria, VA

c/o Franconia Methodist Church
6037 Franconia Road
Springfield, VA

Lorton Community Action Center
9518 Richmond Highway
Lorton, VA

District staff will be on site at each of the above locations to assist you in unloading, tallying, and putting away the food you collect.

To save time and effort and in keeping with Council preferences, we have arranged these locations for drop-off since they are actual food banks, as opposed to tractor-trailer combos sitting in grocery store parking lots!

A member of the Colonial District S4F team will be in touch with your unit leader or committee chair by phone between now and the October 14 Roundtable to firm up your unit's participation. Alternatively, you can call me at the number listed below. Leave a message if I'm not in. You can also call Bill Stewart (703/642-8942) or Demi Pulas (703/820-2534)

Let's make this one of the best S4F projects ever in Northern Virginia, and we need your unit's participation to make this happen!

Yours in Scouting,
Peter Farnham
Colonial District S4F Coordinator

Copyright 1998

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