Camping or Christmas gifts for other children. That was the decision Boy Scout Troop 258 faced. Unanimously, every scout raised his hand in favor of helping less fortunate children this holiday season.
For the second year, the scouts chose to support the Blue Santa program, which provides toys for children of no- to low-income families. The scouts raised $100 from a fundraiser at Rosa’s Restaurant in November to fund the annual camping trip.
Scoutmaster Jim Imhoff said the boys came up with the idea on their own to use the money instead for gifts for other children. His son led the project.
“This helps those kids that haven’t been able to get help from other organizations,” said James Imhoff, 14. “We wanted to help the community instead of helping ourselves. Without the community, (the scouts) wouldn’t exist.”
In addition to the money raised, the scouts also brought in their own toy donations. Christian Leight, 13, donated several board games.
“I picked out Candyland, Yahtzee and Ants in Your Pants because that way, you get to have your family around with you to play the games and enjoy that Christmas feeling,” Christian said.
He spent $30 of his own money he saved from his allowance to buy the games.
“There are a lot of unfortunate kids that don’t have everything that we have,” the SC Lee Junior High student said. “We wake up every Christmas morning and we have a lot of presents. Other kids aren’t that lucky.”
Imhoff said the scouts will still go on their camping trip but will have to raise additional money through popcorn sales, car washes, Friends of Scouting and other fundraisers. He said the main reason the troop chose Blue Santa over other children’s charities is that all of the items donated to Blue Santa are given back to children in the local area.
“I did (charity work) when I was younger and it helped me to know I was making a difference,” Imhoff said. “I have now been doing it with my son for eight years.”