When the Bubble Duckies Patrol of Scouts BSA Troop 19 – St. Rose of Lima Church met for the first time virtually last weekend due to social distancing mandates, they entertained possibilities of helping the community.

But like so many others, they didn’t know what exactly to do. But a short patrol discussion initiated by their Patrol Leader Lea McKenna, quickly propelled 10 year old Scout Caroline Desoe into action.

Caroline’s idea was to support Front Line Appreciation Group (FLAG) Millburn-Short Hills.  Caroline, with the help of her mom, opened a GoFundMe account to support both our local responders and businesses during this difficult time.

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The restaurants have always been great supporters of our schools and community, including Troop 19. A Scout is loyal and helpful!”, said Caroline.

“In addition to our local first responders, FLAG is providing meals to University Hospital of Newark, Mountainside Medical Center, VA of East Orange, Clara Maass Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center, Union Emergency Department and coming shortly we will be adding Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.  The meals are going to all the heroes at the hospital including doctors, nurses, housekeeping, transport and dietary.  Many of the staff are unable to leave the floor once they are gowned up in PPE so having a warm meal has been a big comfort.”, said Millburn-Short Hills FLAG led and resident Shannon Cross.

When the Troop’s Senior Patrol Leader, Bridget Lomax, heard about Caroline’s and the Bubble Duckies efforts, she quickly adopted their request and mission as a Troop 19 community action. 

“It's amazing how even the newest- and youngest- in our Scouting program are making this huge difference. In times like these, every kindness counts more than ever before. Helping the first responders, people who willingly put themselves at risk for the sake of others for weeks on end, deserve more than the charity we can provide. Still, every dollar counts. These are the heroes in our community, and we should do all we can to help them save lives, whether it be donations or simply keeping our distance. Sometimes it's safest that way. The least that we can do is provide them with meals from our local restaurants.”, said Bridget.

“One thing that Scouting has taught me is that being a leader is not just about doing things on your own. It’s about helping make an impact, and everyone having a chance to make a difference. That is what we hope to do.” said Lea. 

If you'd like to contribute, please visit the Troop 19  Go Fund Me page to support Front Line Appreciation Group (FLAG) Millburn-Short Hills.