CEDAR GROVE, NJ -- You may have seen the colorful collection boxes around Cedar Grove, received a flyer on your door, or seen the Boy Scouts doing a supply drive at the local supermarket recently. Brandon Yeu, a Life Scout from Cedar Grove Boy Scout Troop 65, has been working on his Eagle Scout Project in support of the military. He is sponsoring the Airforce's 714 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS), based out of Fort McGuire Air Force Base in NJ.
Brandon is collecting supplies to make care packages for members of the 714 AMXS who recently deployed to Al Dhafra Air Base to serve with the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in the United Arab Emirates. Brandon -- along with other Troop 65 boy scouts, scout families, and friends who volunteered many hours -- canvassed hundreds of Cedar Grove homes in various neighborhoods door-to-door for the past month to collect supply donations. The community responded generously. Brandon and the scouts also held a successful collection drive at Nicholas Markets Foodtown this past Veteran’s Day weekend on November 9. They then gathered at Cedar Grove Memorial Middle School for a packing event to box up all of the items collected so far, which resulted in over 100 care packages overflowing with assorted items for the Airforce personnel in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. The care packages include premium razors, small entertainment items, toiletries, and plenty of snacks, as well as letters of encouragement and pictures drawn by children who participated in an October letter-writing campaign at Cedar Grove Recreation's Fall Movie Night at Morgan's Farm.
Strong support from Cedar Grove residential, business, and government communities made this project a success. “I have always respected the military, and I wanted to do something to remember those who are doing so much for us and are away from home this holiday season. The community’s support has been great and I really appreciate it,” said Brandon.
Residents of Cedar Grove and surrounding areas generously donated thousands of items. Councilman Joseph Cicala volunteered at several of the events and, along with the North End Fire Department, helped publicize the project. Local businesses such as Time Warp Comic & Games assisted by providing materials. The Cedar Grove Library, the Cedar Grove Municipal Building (across from the police window), the North End Firehouse, and nearby businesses in surrounding communities have collection boxes for this project on site. There is still time to participate by dropping off items for the December care packages at any of these collection box locations.