FRANKLIN, NJ – Once again, the Sparta Boy Scout Troop 150 had a successful Adopt-a-Family program to support families in need at the holidays. 

Last December, Boy Scout Troop 150 scouts and parents gathered at the Walmart in Franklin to shop for families in need as part of its annual AAF program.

This year the Scouts were able to support 29 families in need and purchase extra items to support those in shelters. Nearly 500 items were purchased; 90 percent of the items were warm clothing such as hats, gloves, socks, pants, shirts and coats. Additionally, the program provided many necessity items like paper goods for the kitchen and bathroom.

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“We were also able to purchase about $2,600 worth of food for the Sussex County Division of Social Service’s food pantry,” Troop 150’s Scoutmaster Joe Fucito said. “A total of 1885 items including 48 cooked hams helped provide food for those in need at a special time of year.”

Funds to support this program come through generous donations from the local community, the Troop’s regular fundraising activities, and from the Scouts themselves who are asked to perform a service for family or friends and then donate the money they earn to the AAF program.

Families in need are identified through local church sources and shopping lists are created. On shopping night, teams of Scouts use the lists to guide them in selecting appropriate gifts for the individuals on their lists within the budget amount for each individual. Scout parents provide guidance to ensure the Scouts stay on task and on budget.

 “I think the shopping night is a real learning experience for the boys,” Fucito said. “It is interesting to watch these guys get serious about choosing the correct sizes, style, and colors for clothing for a wide mix of individuals – male and female from toddlers to adults.” “I also think it is a little bit of an eye opener for them when the only things some families want are basic necessities, items that they never think once about.”

Troop 150 is chartered by the Sparta United Methodist Church and meets every Monday at 7:00 PM in Demarest Hall. For information about joining visit our website at www.spartatroop150.org or email scoutmaster@spartatroop150.org.