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Scouts help Arkansas disaster victims

10/06/2011
More than 40 Boy Scouts of America have helped bring vital aid to some of the worst hit areas of Arkansas, after a Tornado tore a path of destruction across the US State last week.

The Scouts joined forces with ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) volunteers and the Altus Sunset Rotary Club to help some of the worst affected families. Their homes had been devastated by the massive storm system which is believed to be the worst of its kind to hit America for 60 years.

SRT volunteer, Tim Osburn, said the support from Scouts and Rotary was invaluable.

‘Seeing the devastation this storm created was heart breaking. Homes and properties were just leveled,’ he said. ‘Having the Rotarians and Scouts help with distribution was absolutely fantastic. We had teams working in different locations with the Boy Scouts. We only had to show them how to set up the tents once, and then they got right to it!’

ShelterBox has successfully worked with Scouts on two other deployments this year - during flooding and mudslides in Bolivia and more recently after the deadly earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Both times Scouts played a key role in providing people with shelter and warmth.

Mark Dyer, an SRT who's worked with Scouts in the USA and Japan, also commented.

'In temperatures over 90 degrees, the Scouts worked quickly to get families into disaster relief tents. They always work hard and in the middle of so much devastation, you can always count on them to put a smile on your face.'

This is the second time ShelterBox has sent aid to the USA. In 2005, the charity delivered over 1,400 ShelterBoxes to help families affected by Hurricane Katrina.