National Scout shops are providing the Scouting community an opportunity to help local Scouts who may be in need of uniforms, Scouting equipment, and other program needs.
Similar to an Angel Tree, the Ethan Giving Tree allows customers, Scouts and Scouters to select a Scout in need using cards on a Christmas tree from any of our Scout shops. The card has the Scout’s first name and the items in need. Once selected, the supporter can purchase one or all the items needed from the card and provide them to the Scout Shop Team, who in turn will collect and provide all the items to the leader or troop unit for delivery to the member in need.
A customer can purchase one item or multiple items off of one Scout’s card or multiple cards. There is no minimum or maximum amount of Scouts or items a customer can support.
Ethan Giving Trees will come down on December 20 or when all cards have been chosen. Donations are accepted from now until December 20. All Scouting programs are encouraged to participate!
How the Ethan Giving Tree Came to Be
Starting with the holiday season in 2014, a single Scout shop came up with an idea to try a “Giving Tree” in their store, where fellow Scouters and parents could “adopt” a Scout and help provide them with uniform and Scouting equipment. From this success, Linda Hill, a territory manager of multiple locations created a Woodbadge ticket to expand the program in her Florida territory.
With the excitement this program generated in her territory, it was quickly turned into a national program and renamed the Ethan Giving Tree. Since this time, the stories of Scout spirit have been endless. They range from the numerous Scout executives that asked their staff to “adopt” a Scout off the Ethan Giving Tree (instead of doing their traditional office gift exchange) to several anonymous donors that came in several National Scout Shops in the final days of the holiday season to adopt all remaining Scouts on the tree.
The first year of the national Ethan Giving Tree – supported by 155 national shops and the generosity of the Scouting family – resulted in 1,275 Scouts being adopted and receiving uniforms and supplies.
Linda Hill has been with the Supply Group for 13 years and continues to volunteer with her council, which is how the Ethan Giving Tree program became a national event for the Boy Scouts of America. For her tireless dedication to this program and ensuring our Scouting members are taken care of with the help they need, she was recently awarded the Silver Benchmark Awards – the highest award available to the Scout Shop Team.
For more information on how to help, please visit your local Scout shop. And tell us in the comments below, what does it mean to you to give to others during the holiday season?