The Berks-Mont News (http://www.berksmontnews.com)

Cub Scout Pack collects items to help homeless veterans


By Holly Varner, Cub Scout Pack 144

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Every week the boys of Cub Scout Pack 144 stand in front of the United States flag, make the Scout sign and recite the Cub Scout Promise.

I promise to do my best,

to do my duty, to God and my Country,

to help other people and to Obey the Law of the Pack.

They promise to “Help other people” tonight they did just that and more.

We had the extreme pleasure of meeting a true hero in every sense of the word who lives those words every day of his life. A US Marine Corps Vet who served his country in Vietnam, Beirut and Grenada, Sgt Doug Graybill.

Mr. Graybill and his wife (also a vet) have devoted their lives to helping homeless Veterans. They provide food, clothing and every day necessities to those of us who need it the most.

He spoke to the boys about the everyday hardships of those Vets that he serves. Services he sets up for them from medical, social services, housing where possible, even in some unfortunate cases arranging the proper military funerals. He spoke of how sometimes the best he can do for these Vets is to sit and talk to them for hours and in many cases he is there only friend and the only person they will talk to.

Doug and his wife Liz can only provide to these folks what they take in as donations. Our Cub Pack through the wonderful help and donations collected at The Hamburg Item, Dietrich’s Men’s shop, Zions Blue Mountain UCC Church and our friends and families collected many coats, shirts, pants toiletries etc. The boys also made go-bags of daily essentials for the Graybills to hand out. When all was said and done we had a very large pile of donated items, so I want to thank personally all those folks and businesses who had a hand in getting this together for this wonderful cause.

Boy Scout Colby Varner, for his Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge, made door hangers and hung them on the doors in Strausstown and went back and collected the donations the week after. He sorted the bags into like items and bagged and labeled them all. In all we were able to collect more than 20 lawn and leaf bags full of coats, blankets and clothes.

At the time of his visit he was actually out of blankets and sleeping bags so those bags went right into his van. We ended up with such a large collection he was unable to take it all and we had to set up delivery for the rest of the items. Even with such a large collection he informed us this wont last him two weeks.

But it doesn’t stop there! Doug and Liz are continuing to fight the good fight and we have devoted to helping them out again in the future! You too can help them out. Doug can be contacted at douglas.graybill@yahoo.com or call him at 610-678-5815 to arrange any donations you may have. There is also an event coming up soon that you can bring donated items to on Feb. 15 at City Park, Veterans Grove, Reading, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Rain or shine.

Cub Scout Pack 144 has committed to help this wonderful cause and amazing people.