Good Turn For America
What is Good Turn for America?
(Currently being updated)
Good Turns come in all sizes - some are big like saving a life, rebuilding a home destroyed by a natural disaster, cleaning up our waterways, working with a community to build a park or placing flags on a veteran's grave on Memorial Day. Other Good Turns are small, thoughtful acts—helping a child cross a busy street, going to the store for an elderly neighbor, collecting food for the hungry, cutting back brush that is blocking a safety sign, doing something special for a brother or sister, or welcoming a new student to your school.
Good Turn for America is a national call to service by the Boy Scouts of America to address the issues of hunger, homelessness, and poor health in our nation. In this effort, the Boy Scouts of America is partnering with some of the nation's most respected service organizations, including The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society, America's Second Harvest, and the Department of Homeland Security. These organizations and thousands of others will work to provide opportunities for youth and volunteers to fight hunger and homelessness, and teach the habits of healthy living.
This national service initiative helps tell the story of Scouting within our communities. Since 2005, Good Turn for America has recorded over two million Scouts and volunteers providing over 7 million hours of service to help combat hunger, inadequate housing, poor health, disaster recovery, and promoting conservation of our resources. We know that our Scout units are providing even more service to the communities - the challenge is getting you to report it!
So how can you get involved? Participating in Good Turn For America is easy, exciting and meaningful. To begin, your unit should recruit a Unit Good Turn for America Coordinator and incorporate the Good Turn for America initiatives into your unit's annual activities and program plans. Select a service project that the entire unit can participate in (the Good Turn for America web site has many ideas). Once your ready, be sure you are registered to record your service project on the Good Turn for America website, www.goodturnforamerica.org . The register, go to the web site and click on "Tell Us About Your Project" on the left side of the screen. If this is your units first time on the web site, you'll need your unit ID (you can get that from your District Executive or the NCAC Program Director) to complete the information and create a user name and password. If you are a return user, just click on "Login". You'll be able to report on a Service Project, view all previously recorded projects, and report on individual Eagle Scout service projects.
Service Project Ideas:
Scouting for Food: Scouting for Food is our annual Good Turn focusing on fighting hunger in our local communities. The National Capital Area Council currently partners with SAFEWAY food stores, WUSA Channel 9 and the Capitol Area Foodbank. Last year Scouts provided more than 590,000 lbs. of food to local food banks, shelters, and needy families - feeding more than half a million hungry people in our communities. This year Scouting for Food will start Saturday, 1 November, 2008 when Scouts will distribute red and black bags to neighborhood homes. Those bags will be picked up one week later on Saturday, November 8th. More information is available from your District Scouting for Food representative or the NCAC Program Director.
Scouting for Shelter: One of the best resources for Scouting for Shelter service projects is through your local Habitat for Humanity affiliates. Click here to find a list of several of the area NCAC Affiliates.
Scouting for Health: There are many partnership organizations who welcome Scouting for Health volunteers. One of the largest is the American Red Cross. Some Red Cross Chapters (such as Arlington County Chapter) have "Youth Teams" for ages 12-18, that offer volunteer service opportunities for individuals and groups. Check it out. www.redcross/donate/volunteer
The "Gift of Sight Foundation" is always looking for Scouting for Health volunteers to organize a "Used Glasses Collection Drive". The foundation provides free vision care and eyeglasses to underprivileged individuals in North America and developing nations around the world. The organization sponsors a "Sight Night" each Halloween to raise awareness and collect donated used eyeglasses during "Trick or Treat" on Halloween night. For more information go to: www.givethegiftofsight.org
Other partnership service opportunities: If you are looking for a Good Turn for the Environment, check out "American Rivers". They offer group and individual volunteer opportunities as a part of their National Rivers Cleanup Program. Last year as part of the NCAC and American Rivers partnership, Scouts participated in many of their area sponsored projects. The 2008 Potomac River Watershed Cleanup alone involved 26 different Scout units and removed 285,099 tons of trash!! Their web site also provides a very good "Organizer's Handbook" for groups that want to take on a river cleanup service project. www.americanrivers.org/cleanup
Unit and individual recognitions:
There are many levels of recognition available, from Unit Participation Flagpole Ribbons, Certificates of Appreciation, Wall Plaques and Desk Awards, to Good Turn For America badges and participation year segments, coins, pins and ball caps. Go to www.scoutstuff.org