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About 30 Cub Scouts and their families from Pack 34, Camp Zama, Japan, made their eighth annual pilgrimage to the Aikeikai Orphanage in Machida last Saturday, delivering more than 1,200 pounds of donations gathered during a one-day food drive in November.

The group also carried a monetary contribution of 35,000 yen, about $332, to the local facility, which houses almost 50 children ages 5 and younger.

After loading up a truck that morning, at the Sagamihara Housing Area, Pack 34 members traveled to Machida and formed a human chain inside the orphanage, passing along items such as rice, canned fruits and vegetables, diapers, dehydrated potatoes, wet wipes, baby food, juice boxes and bottled juice. The entire haul exceeded last year’s collection by about 200 pounds.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tom Snider, a den leader and pack spokesman, labeled Saturday’s effort a huge success.

“Things went very well,” he said. “It’s extremely rewarding for everyone who went on the trip. It allows the kids to meet other children of a different nationality, and it lets us provide a service and promote good citizenship in the community, which is one of the tenets of Cub scouting.”

Rice comprised roughly half of the donations, Snider said. The food drive, organized by Sheri Muzzy, took place Nov. 21 at the Camp Zama and Sagamihara Housing Area commissaries.

After Saturday’s handover, the scouts spent time interacting with the Japanese orphans.

Snider said the Cub Scouts always get a tremendous response from the orphanage, which was “extremely pleased about the visit and the donations.”

“I think the kids there are somewhat timid at first,” he said, “but once they get to playing with some toys on the floor and taking pictures, it’s a great time for everyone.

“Pack 34 would like to thank the generosity of the Camp Zama community. Folks that live here and go to the commissary are the ones who made this happen. Without their donations, we couldn’t have made the trip.”


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