The refugee crisis affecting key regions of the globe probably isn’t something most American teenagers think about regularly, but for one Scout, doing his part to help refugees actually played a role in helping him achieve something that determined American boys have been seeking for more than 100 years.
In the Boy Scouts of America Inland Northwest Council, Scout Jared F. was looking for an Eagle Scout project that would give him an opportunity to help people directly. As he began doing the research and asking around about what would make a worthy project, Jared learned that the refugee crisis in the Middle East had resulted in hundreds of refugees being relocated to his own town.
“I really didn’t know much about refugees before this,” he said, noting that he learned that many of those refugees coming from other countries often have little more than the clothing they are wearing when they are relocated.
The thought that the refugee crisis had extended to his own home town made an impact on Jared, and he wanted to do something to help the refugees. He contacted a local refugee support organization, World Relief Spokane, that gave him a project idea for how he could help.
It can get pretty cold during winters in the Pacific Northwest, and the refugee support organization was short on blankets to provide to the refugees. So Jared mobilized an effort to collect and supply more than 300 blankets to refugees that had been relocated to his community.
When he delivered them to World Relief Spokane, the stacks of blankets reached to the ceiling in the organization’s office.
“I’m so excited because I was looking for blankets just last week,” said Nancy Goodwin, of World Relief.
“Every refugee that comes to Spokane, we provide everything they need for their apartment,” said Johnna Nickoloff, World Relief Spokane’s development director. “But the requirement is very minimal, and it could be very vague – maybe they just have sheets and a thin blanket.”
Though the refugee crisis has left people displaced all over the world, the commitment of Scouts like Jared helps to make a difference.
To learn more about Jared’s Eagle project to provide blankets to refugees in his community, be sure to read the full article in The Spokesman-Review.
To learn more about the positive impact that Scouting can have on young people like Jared, be sure to check out this article on the recent Tufts study, and watch this video: