Salt Lake City, UTAH – A massive effort is underway to provide free hepatitis A vaccinations to the Salt Lake County homeless population, and the members of the El Ku Ta Lodge in the Order of the Arrow have responded to the urgent call for help.
“Members of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) were asked to volunteer to give the vaccinations, as well as to assemble hygiene kits to give to each of the people who receive these shots,” explained Dave Bresnahan, an EMT and volunteer with the MRC. “MRC volunteers spent an entire morning assembling the hygiene kits, but couldn’t even come close to completing them. I immediately thought of the Boy Scouts who are in the Order of the Arrow. They responded right away, and with only a few days notice to prepare, they showed up on Saturday afternoon and made the additional 2,000 hygiene kits that were needed,” said Bresnahan, the associate adviser of the group of Boy Scouts known as the Order of the Arrow in the El Ku Ta Lodge in the Great Salt Lake Council.
“These scouts are considered the cream of the crop, making up less than 1% of all scouts. The Order of the Arrow is the national honor society of the Boy Scouts of America. Members are taught leadership skills and give cheerful service without expectation of getting anything in return. This is service above and beyond what is required for advancement, such as for the Eagle Scout award. No award will be given for the service they gave,” explained Blair Hope, the Lodge Adviser.
“The adults and youth who showed up on short notice to help with this project did so for no other reason than to give service to their community, which they did cheerfully. They gave up their Saturday the week before Christmas to help others in need, and this was not something unusual. Just last month they helped prepare Thanksgiving meals for 1,000 people. They are great examples of the way we can provide cheerful service to others in need,” remarked Karson Baker, a teenager who was elected by the youth members as the Lodge Chief.
Members of the Order of the Arrow are elected by the members of their Boy Scout troop because they have distinguished themselves as outstanding examples of youth who are trying to live by the Scout Oath and Law, and are good leaders. They attend training and service opportunities provided by their Order of the Arrow chapter and lodge to help them prepare for a life of leadership and service, according to Bresnahan.
It is the goal of the El Ku Ta Lodge to continually serve the community with what they call, “the Brotherhood of Cheerful Service.”