Scouts collect over $6,000 for Ukrainian refugees

By Brandon Kathman  District Executive


Michigan Crossroads Council 

A pancake breakfast hosted by Clarkston Troop 189 collected approximately $6,200 to support those displaced by the war in Ukraine.

“They’re putting their lives and their destinies into humanity’s hands,” Tom Snudden, one of the event coordinators, said. “We just wanted to try and be part of that, to be those hands holding them up and supporting them.”

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, over 5 million Ukrainians have fled Ukraine since the invasion began in February. Oskar Benson, a Troop 189 Eagle Scout now living abroad in Kraków, Poland, inspired his fellow scouts to action when his family began welcoming refugees into their home.

Taking place at Clarkston United Methodist Church, the breakfast was staffed by twenty scouts working alongside adult volunteers. The youth cooked and served more than 750 pancakes over the course of the meal.

“I volunteered to help the Ukrainian people and be a part of something larger than just our community, to be a step in the right direction,” Life Scout James LaZar, 17, said. 

An estimated 250 people attended the breakfast, according to the troop. However, the youth working the welcome table admitted that they lost count after a while. While the breakfast only cost $10 to attend, many patrons chose to donate much more. One benefactor even pledged $500 to cover the food costs. Snudden said that other donations from those who could not attend in-person are still trickling in.

The proceeds from the event will be earmarked and divided between three nonprofits presently supporting Ukrainian refugees: the Ukrainian National Scouting Organization, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Poland.

“I hope that the younger scouts learned how we can go above and beyond when we work together to achieve a goal,” LaZar said.