One of Eastchester Troop 353’s proudest and longest-standing traditions, and one that clearly distinguishes our troop from others in our area, is contributing substantially to the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive for Eastchester Community Action Program (ECAP)! In the opinion of the Scoutmaster, our troop takes its community service mandate to a higher level than the overall Council-wide food drive that occurs in fall, as our scout’s collective efforts have a very substantial and direct impact on ECAP. ECAP is the local office of the Westchester Community Opportunity Program (WestCOP)–one of 16 offices in the Westchester & Putnam County. According to the WestCOP website, it is “a private not-for-profit, multipurpose social service agency operating community programs to combat poverty and its adverse effects in Westchester and Putnam counties.
“Chartered in 1965, the organization each year receives more than 60 grants from corporations, government, foundations and individuals to sponsor numerous programs essential to the well being of the community’s residents. These programs include 30 Day Care / Head Start centers, 12 Community Action Programs (CAPs), Substance abuse, Family living program, Homeless prevention and Assistance programs, Emergency food pantries, Surplus food distribution, Energy conservation and Weatherization programs and numerous employment and training programs. WestCOP services include a variety of special projects, such as the Foster Grandparents Programs, an Emergency Homeless Men’s Shelter, Seniors in Community Services, Victims Assistance Services, Rape Crisis Services, a Rape Hotline, Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and Community Services to the Elderly.
“The nucleus of the agency’s operations is its neighborhood services centers (CAPs) which act as advocates for the poor and minorities by helping their constituencies to organize for the purpose of exerting influence on the larger community’s allocation of resources and keeping their interests before local governments, and public and private agencies.
“The CAPs help the poor and the minorities to meet the needs, which they themselves identify, provide resources to neighborhood and community groups to secure professional and technical assistance and provide direct services to individuals who have no where else to turn. ”
Troop 353 is particularly proud of its 17 year tradition of contributing directly to its local community. Our troop’s efforts to collect well over 200 grocery bags throughout our neighborhood, along with other corporate donors, has a truly long-lasting impact, as ECAP is one of the few WestCOP offices to supply both its local and surrounding communities with a well-stock food bank. The food contributed during the Thanksgiving food drive, according to Charlene Lambrecht, the ECAP program director, was enough to last through the yearend holidays.
A scout is Helpful!