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Scout creates care packages for single soldiers
Mathew McGuthry wears some of the merit badges he has already earned. - photo by Photo by Katie McGurl
Mathew McGuthry, a sophomore at Richmond Hill High School and prospective Eagle Scout, is putting together care packages for soldiers returning home from deployments, and he needs your help.

The effort is, in part, to complete his Eagle Scout project, an extensive community service endeavor. If executed successfully, McGuthry will earn the highest honor a Boy Scout can achieve.  

The other part of McGuthry’s choice to take on this project stems simply from the kindness in his own heart. “I really wanted to help the soldiers out, make them feel welcome when they come home,” he said.

“I’m putting the care packages in the soldiers’ quarters where they’ll be staying when they get back,” McGuthry explained. “I’ll be collecting some food items, such as some candy and snacks for their enjoyment, and some beverages, such as Coke or Gatorade, along with some comic books, playing cards, and most importantly, letters thanking them for their service.”

Neighbors in the community are encouraged to write these letters and send them to McGuthry’s home (please see address below) for inclusion. “To say ‘thank you for your service and all that you do’ … definitely an extremely positive message,” said the Scout. “Anything to really cheer up the soldiers. And I’d especially like letters from young children. They can draw pictures if they wish.”

Donations of playing cards, snacks, and beverages will also be accepted. McGuthry said, however, that the letters of support and money (which he will use to buy food items) are most needed. He stressed that 100 percent of all monetary donations will be used for the soldiers.

The packages are designed especially for single soldiers who won’t have the comfort of being around family upon their return.

As to why he chose to focus on these soldiers in particular, McGuthry explained, “They aren’t allowed to drive for a period of time when they come back, so I figure the single soldiers are the ones that really have the hardest time when they first arrive because they don’t have the family unit coming over to help them. They’re coming from a completely different time zone, too … and the letters are really the thing that I think would make the soldiers feel the best.”

The avid pianist and physics enthusiast hopes to create 150 care packages over the next few months. Packages will be assembled with the help of family and other scouts. He will deliver them to Hunter Army Airfield to coincide with the return of troops from overseas.

To find out more about Mathew McGuthry’s project, visit Letters for soldiers or other donations can be sent to: 64 Brookshire Drive, Richmond Hill, GA 31324.

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