02/02/10 — Tuscarora Scouts help with Haiti relief

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Tuscarora Scouts help with Haiti relief

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on February 2, 2010 1:46 PM

In a matter of hours, Tuscarora Boy Scouts were able to collect 63 tents, 10 cases of hand sanitizer and six cases of bug spray for medical teams in Haiti.

All of the items were donated by local Scouts and volunteers.

The council office received a call on Friday, Jan. 29, at 2:30 p.m. from a Scouting friend who was flying a private jet to Haiti to pick up a group North Carolina physicians who had been treating the injured. The physicians asked if the Scouts could help provide tents, hand sanitizer and bug spray for remaining medical teams. They explained that all of the medical volunteers in the area had given up their shelters for patients.

"We had a phenomenal response," said Scout Executive Harold Keller. "We called our people, and within minutes we had tents arriving at the office. Scouts and leaders brought in their own tents or bought new tents. They purchased all the hand sanitizer and bug spray they could find. It was amazing."

"Our Scouting family jumped at the opportunity to serve," added Keller. "But that's what Scouts do."

Council staff members spent the afternoon and early evening picking up the donated items before an icy storm hit the area. Although snow and light rain began to fall, staff and volunteers drove from Goldsboro to the Kenansville airport to deliver the items. Other volunteers from Beulaville met them there. The group helped load the jet.

Because of the worsening weather, the jet was forced to take off at 9:30 that evening. Weather forecasters had predicted one to four inches of ice and snow would blanket the area, making travel very dangerous over the weekend. The early take-off also helped the physicians by getting these urgent supplies to them immediately.